MANILA - Reelectionist Sen. JV Ejercito on Thursday wished his half-brother former senator Jinggoy Estrada "good luck" as they are bound for a clash in the upcoming 2019 midterm elections.
"Well siguro 'pag nagkita eh, ‘tol pasensiya ka na, politika lang 'to. Good luck sa'yo," Ejercito told radio DZMM's "Ikaw Na Ba? The DZMM Senatorial Candidates' Interview."
(Well, perhaps if we see each other, I would say, 'sorry brother, this is just politics. Good luck to you.'")
When asked who the public should vote for between them, Ejercito said it was up to the voters to decide who has a track record and a clean name.
"Bahala na kayong humusga. Basta 'yung may performance tsaka malinis ang pangalan ang importante," he said.
(It is up to them to judge. What's important is performance and a clean reputation.)
The half-brothers, sons of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, have long had a rift.
It began when Ejercito was elected mayor of San Juan City in 2001, succeeding [Jinggoy] Estrada. Things went from bad to worse when Ejercito signed a 2014 Senate committee report recommending plunder charges against his half-brother.
While still not in good terms, the half-brothers united when the family faced the Zamoras in the 2016 elections. Ejercito's mother, Guia Gomez, was elected mayor, while Estrada's daughter, Janella Estrada, was elected vice-mayor.
Estrada is seeking a return to the Senate even as he faced trial for plunder and graft for his alleged role in the Priority Development Assistance Fund or "pork barrel" scam. He is out on bail.
Ejercito had earlier said that if his half-brother decides to run, he was willing to make the sacrifice and drop his 2019 reelection plans.
However, his colleagues in the Senate urged him to seek reelection, Ejercito said.
"Nasabi ko 'yun dahil sa aking prinsipyo na sana isa lang ang tatakbo. Kaya lang mismo ang aking mga kasamahan sa Senado na 'bakit ikaw ang bibigay?'" he said.
(I said that because of my principle that only one of us should run. But my colleagues at the Senate asked 'why should you give way?')
Ejercito said he was running for his advocacy for infrastructure development and transport modernization, not for "vindication" or "ambition."
"Ako po ay tatakbo sa ating adbokasiya sa aking paniniwala para sumigla ang ekonomiya, 'yun ang magbibigay ng trabaho at hanapbuhay na talagang genuine inclusive growth," he said.
(I'm running for my advocacy, my belief for economic development that will create jobs and generate genuine inclusive growth.)
"May performance ako at mayroon akong track record, at palagay ko ang mas importante ay kailanman inalaagan ko 'yung tiwalang binigay sa'kin."
(I have performance and track record. And I think it's more important that I took care of the trust that was given to me.)