MANILA - Reelectionist Senator JV Ejercito left the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino "maybe" because he does not want to be affiliated with the Estrada family, former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada said Tuesday, a day after his son filed his certificate of candidacy that included "Estrada" as an alias.
Ejercito resigned from his father's party earlier this year and jumped to Senate President Vicente Sotto III's Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) after his half-brother, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, announced that he would also run for a Senate seat.
"Parang ayaw niya. He resigned from my party. Maybe he doesn't want to be recognized as my son," Estrada told reporters.
The Manila Mayor accompanied Jinggoy who filed his certificate of candidacy before noon Tuesday, while Ejercito who submitted his election documents a day earlier said he yet to speak with the Estrada patriarch.
Jinggoy, who was jailed for plunder charges in 2013, is running under the PMP. He denied talk that their father is supporting his Senate bid, but not his brother's. He declined to disclose if Ejercito will be among the senatorial candidates that will be endorsed by the PMP.
"Wala naman ganun. I requested my parents to accompany me. Hindi ko alam baka hindi siguro tinawagan ni Senator JV ang aming ama," he said.
The Estrada family has yet to discuss the siblings' twin bids for the Senate, but there are no ill-feelings against Ejercito's decision to leave the party, the former president said.
"Hindi naman. It's a free country," Mayor Estrada said.
Ejercito earlier said he is somehow affected by the family squabble, but intends to reach out to the Estrada patriarch soon.
"Of course, nasasaktan but that was one of the reasons bakit nilagay ko Estrada sa COC," Ejercito said.
"We have some disputes but I will be talking to him very soon. He is still my father," he said.
-with reports from Christian Esguerra and Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News