Erap Sons Onto Head On Collision At The Senate

It will probably be a first in the history of the Philippine Senate that siblings would be gunning for Upper Chamber seat or seats, simultaneously.

Former senator Jinggoy Estrada and younger half-brother, Sen. JV Ejercito are both eyeing the Upper Chamber. The latter is on his re-election bid while the former is out to make a comeback in the political scene.

Jinggoy Estrada, before he bowed out of the Senate in 2016, was forced to cut short his second term when ordered arrested and detained by the Sandiganbayan in connection with the Napoles plunder charges.

While he continues to face the plunder complaint, Estrada already announced his intention to run for the Senate categorically junking rumors of settling for a mayoralty post, either San Juan City or Manila, or the gubernatorial position in Laguna.


Official Party Bet

From the looks of it, this could prove to be messy not only for the brothers but more so for the political party they will be part of.

Estrada revealed that negotiations are already underway for on his possible entry slot in the PDP-Laban senatorial slate.

“Merong negotiations but I will just keep mum on it until finalized,” he said to a select group of reporters.

Unlike in the case of Jinggoy Estrada, JV Ejercito is still trying to slug it out with other potential senatorial candidates.


Koko Moves 

Recently, Ejercito aired his gripe against Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, president of PDP-Laban. JV said Koko has not been exerting any effort to secure him and other fellow re-electionists slots in the ruling party’s senatorial line-up.

However, Senator Pimentel issued a denial on both Estrada and Ejercito’s claims.

Contrary to the impression of Ejercito, Pimentel said he has, in fact, been rallying for the latter and other reelectionists’ inclusion in the senatorial line-up on the administration.

“Hindi lang ako maingay,” he said.

Other reelectionsts are Senators Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe and Cynthia Villar.

Pimentel is also a reelectionist.

Of the seven senators, only Aquino is a member of the minority bloc and belonging to an opposition party. The others are aligned with the administration.


History In The Making

It may prove to be history in the making, if and when Estrada and Ejercito, sons of former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, will win in the 2019 elections.

In the same breadth, Former senators, siblings Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano and Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, served in the Senate together Estrada from 2007 to 2013.

Congresswoman Pia was elected in the Senate 2004 while Secretary Alan entered the upper chamber in 2007 and by the time he sought re-election in 2013, the former ended her two consecutive terms, returning in 2016 elections, this time at the Lower House.

Estrada’s mother, former First Lady Dr. Luisa “Loi” Ejercito Estrada, was already a senator when Jinggoy joined her at the Upper House in 2004.

Senator Loi won her seat in 2001 and bowed out after six years, opting not to seek re-election in 2007.

In both cases – with the mother-and-son tandem and the Cayetano siblings -- there was never an instance where both family members were campaigning simultaneously for the Senate.


Not On Same Page

This would be worth watching as it is no secret that Jinggoy and JV have had personal differences and are not always on the same page.

Earlier, after brother Jinggoy was granted bail, JV made pronouncements that only one of them should run for the Senate.

Jinggoy responded with “why deprive me from running?”.

“Ako, if you ask me if I’m amenable of him running together with me, I don’t see any problem. I can work with him. Siya lang naman nagsasabi na kailangan isa lang Estrada ang tumakbo,” Jinggoy said.

He added that Mayor Erap sees no problem in the desire of the half siblings.

The two may just have to sit down together – privately -- to resolve the issue amicably, according to mutual friends.

But JV intimated that their differences could not be easily resolved at this point in time while Jinggoy, on one hand, already ruled out the idea of talking to his brother.

“I have tried (to reach out) in the past. (Ngayon) hindi na siguro,” said Jinggoy.

Currently, there is no law (yet) that prevents siblings or family members to simultaneously run in the Senate.

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018
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