MANILA - Former senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada said Thursday he has not spoken with his half-brother, Sen. JV Ejercito, to confirm his earlier offer of dropping his re-election bid should Estrada decide to run for the Senate.
Estrada said he was not thinking of returning to the Senate up until he was released on bail in September last year. He was detained for more than 3 years on graft and plunder charges for his alleged role in the multibillion-peso "pork barrel" scam.
Estrada said that 3 months after he was freed, he had a "boost" when Ejercito said "he was going to make the supreme sacrifice if I decide to run."
He said he thought this would patch things up between him and his brother. "I haven’t seen him. I don’t even know his number," he told ANC's Headstart.
Pressed if he had tried to clarify with his younger brother what happened with the offer, Estrada said: "Walang pagkakataon."
"He should have called me because I’m older...He did not," he said.
Both Estrada and Ejercito are gunning for a Senate seat, with the former seeking "vindication" after his detention and the latter a continuation of his work from his first term.
Ejercito, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada's son with San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, left his father's political party, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, for the Nationalist People's Coalition to avoid being in an "awkward" situation where both he and his brother would be fielded as candidates.
This decision strained Ejercito's relationship with their father among other things, said Estrada.
He noted Ejercito did not approach their dad when all 3 of them attended the birthday party of Sen. Francis Escudero.
"My father got hurt with what JV said in the media that he did not help him and then he bolted the party. Kahit papaano, sumama loob ng daddy ko (Somehow, my daddy's feelings were hurt)," Estrada said.
Estrada said it was not true that their father did not help his brother in the run up to the 2013 elections. He added, neither he nor Ejercito would have been elected as mayors or senators if it were not for their father, a former president and an incumbent mayor.
Estrada denied that his father's attendance during his filing of his certificate of candidacy for the Senate is an endorsement, which his brother did not get. He said he asked both his parents to accompany him during the filing.
"I don't know, maybe Sen. JV did not request, call up my dad to accompany him," he said.
He said it is inevitable that the public will have different opinions about his decision to run for the same position as that of his brother.
"I had to run for the Senate because I still have a lot of bills to be filed. It just so happened that JV wanted to run. I can’t do anything about it, but I still respect his decision," he said.
Still, though they have not spoken for a long time, Estrada said he would love to campaign and win a Senate seat along with his half-brother.
"I would love to share the same stage with him during the campaign. No problem with me, wala naman akong galit, wala talaga. Siya lang naman ang may ayaw sa akin. I do not know why," he said.
"If I were to be followed, I would want Sen. JV to win and myself to win. Iisang dugo namin, kapatid ko pa rin yan kahit papaano, iisa lang ang tatay namin," he added.