JV agrees with brother Jinggoy: 'Only one Estrada should run for Senate in 2022'

Published July 9, 2021, 11:15 AM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Former senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Friday, July 9, agreed with his half-brother Jinggoy Estrada that only one of them should run for senator in the 2022 elections.

Former Senator Joseph Victor ‘JV’ Ejercito (Cesar Tomambo/Senate PRIB)

Ejercito admitted he was more cautious in deciding whether or not to again seek a return in the upper chamber after he and Estrada both ran and lost in the 2019 senatorial polls.

“Of course, I’m thinking, because 2019 should be a lesson for both of us. That it’s really, almost impossible for two members of the family to win in any election, in any position for that matter…much more for the Senate,” Ejercito said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

“I agree with him (Jinggoy) there should only be one Estrada running,” he replied when asked about Estrada’s previous statements about their possible bid for senator.

“My brother has already said that he also intends to run — so it will be 2019 all over again. It will be difficult, we will just be wasting time, money, effort by running together,” Ejercito further said.

He, however, said it would likewise be difficult for him and Estrada to talk and come into terms about their elections plans, saying the rift between them “has gone so deep already” and that “it’s very hard to trust”.

And he doubted that their father, former president Joseph “Erap” Ejercito-Estrada, would be of help.

“Frankly, I really do not know, because at this point, my father is too weak, of course he’s not the same anymore, the strong personality that everybody will follow, that’s just the reality,” Ejercito said.

“I’m just hoping for a miracle,” he added.

Ejercito recalled appealing to his older brother not to run for senator in 2019 so he could gather enough votes to be reelected in the Senate.

He lamented not being able to oversee the implementation of his pet bill, the Universal Health Care law, when he failed to clinch a second Senate term.

“Just one term, it would have been enough,” he said.

While he feels that Estrada will again refuse to give way for next year’s elections, Ejercito said he is “still fueled by [his] passion” to continue his legislative work.

He also rejected his brother’s proposition that he run for a local position instead, saying he has already served his constituents in San Juan City, being the mayor for nine years. He said he is “80 percent” inclined to run for senator next year.

Ejercito landed at the 13th spot during the 2019 elections, just about 200,000 votes behind Senator Nancy Binay, who secured the 12th Senate spot.

Estrada, meanwhile, was at 15th place.