By Ben Rosario
Between his father Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s endorsement and an enviable track record of legislative performance, re-electionist Sen. JV Ejercito wants to rely more on the latter to rebound from dismal poll survey showing and eventually win the senatorial race.
Interviewed in Quezon City, Ejercito revealed that he has not asked for help from his father, either financially or through endorsement, to boost his candidacy.
The Manila local executive is believed to still retain the political charisma that has catapulted him from being a mayor of tiny San Juan to becoming the president who won one of the largest margins of votes in Philippine political history.
“I have always been proud of my achievements in serving the Filipino people. I think I have done everything possible, I worked hard for the passage of two anti-poverty bills that became laws,” he said.
Ejercito said he will welcome his father’s endorsement for his candidacy but he has not asked for it.
Recent poll survey results showed the re-electionist senator dropping out of the magic 12 while half-brother, former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, is ranked within the top ten of the senatorial race.
“I was never accused of corruption. My record as public servant is clean,” Ejercito said, apparently incredulous at the survey results.
Jinggoy, who has a bigger chance of winning, said he has been charged with plunder but he considers the filing of charges as part of the political harassment initiated by the past administration against its critics.
Estrada, an actor, also has been upstaging Ejercito during campaign sorties, clearly more popular than his non-showbiz brother who made a mark in public service as a multi-awarded civic leader, aside from being the son of a popular screen hero.
During the Hugpong ng Pagbabago rally in San Juan, the Estrada family bailiwick, the former senator endorsed his sibling, notwithstanding the fact that Ejercito has publicly objected to his candidacy for senator.
“I hope he is sincere, we will see,” commented Ejercito when he heard the news of his brother’s peace offering.
Ejercito said he has objected to the entry of Jinggoy in the Senate race because he is one believer of the anti-political dynasty bill.
“First time in the history of Philippine politics that this will happen,” Ejercito said, referring to his and his brother’s candidacy for senator.
Ejercito is the principal author in the Senate of the law that created the Department of Housing and Urban Development to address the huge housing backlog in the country.
Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Universal Health Care bill that he also authored. The measure ensures free medical care for all Filipinos. #MatalinongBoto2019