SIBLING RIVALRY REARS UGLY HEAD BEFORE SENATE STARTS 16th CONGRESS
 


[Senator-elect Joseph Victor Ejercito. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO]

MANILA, July 15, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Norman Bordadora - The sibling rivalry between Senate President Jinggoy Estrada and his half-brother Sen. JV Ejercito continues to rear its ugly head way before the start of the 16th Congress.

On Thursday afternoon, Estrada expected Ejercito to pay him a courtesy call at the Senate but the neophyte senator opted to attend to another engagement.

“I thought he was already proceeding to the Senate together with Sen. Nancy (Binay),” Estrada told reporters, who were expecting a cordial meeting between the two brothers, who are known to be less than affectionate with each other.

Estrada, Ejercito and other senators who are expected to compose the minority in the next Congress, met over lunch at Vice President Jejomar Binay’s office at the Coconut Palace at noontime before the supposed meeting between the sons of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

“I was expecting him to come over but I received word that there is an equally important thing to do,” Estrada said.

Asked if he felt slighted, Estrada said, “That’s the way it is. Wala tayong magagawa. OK lang (We can’t do anything. It’s OK).”

“I just asked him before I boarded my car [from the Coconut Palace meeting] if he was coming over. He said he would follow with Senator Nancy. I thought he was coming over,” Estrada said.

“I received word from one of my staff that he had another appointment,” he added.

A member of Ejercito’s staff said the meeting between the neophyte senator and Estrada was to happen on or before the day of President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address on July 22. The source said Ejercito will be prepared to explain what transpired Thursday by then.

Asked if he could still meet his brother on the eve of the start of the 16th Congress next week, Estrada said, “Well… we would already have a toxic schedule next week. We would already be busy because July 22 is already drawing near.”

Interestingly, the two brothers may find themselves seated beside each other with the Senate’s alphabetical seating arrangement, should they both use their real surname.

Estrada and Ejercito are expected to both be in the Senate minority that will presumptively be led by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

Other senators, who are expected to be part of the Senate minority, include senators Vicente Sotto III, Gregorio Honasan and neophyte Nancy Binay.

Senator Binay to scrutinize Secretary Roxas’s budget Philippine Daily Inquirer 7:58 am | Friday, July 12th, 2013

MANILA, Philippines—Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Nancy Binay(photo) intend to go over with a fine-toothed comb the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s 2014 budget, particularly the increased allocation for the DSWD’s cash doleout program.

Binay has also expressed a keen interest in scrutinizing the budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which is headed by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the likely opponent of her father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, in the 2016 presidential elections.

They told reporters about their designs on the budget following a luncheon meeting at the Vice President’s Coconut Palace office that was also attended by the senators who are expected to make up the minority in the 16th Congress.

Binay said her father was present at the meeting. She said there was no “political color” in her interest in the DILG budget.

“I’m quite familiar with local government issues because for the longest time my father and my mother became mayors,” she said.

Estrada said he was interested in the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program which he implied was used to benefit administration candidates during the May elections. Norman Bordadora

EARLIER RELATED NEWS FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

For Senator-elect JV Ejercito, no bad blood between him and brother Jinggoy PATRICIA DENISE CHIU, GMA NewsMay 21, 2013 3:24pm

Incoming senator JV Ejercito, left photo (former mayor of San Juan, Rizal from 2001-2010) on Tuesday said that despite turning down an offer from half-brother Senator Jinggoy Estrada to star in a political campaign with him, the senator-elect said he does not think Estrada harbors ill will towards him.

"Nag-offer siya na gagawa ng ads, siya yung may storyboards, kaya lang kasi at that time maganda naman kasi yung ratings ko, sabi ko nun maganda na yung trajectory ko, yung rating ko mataas eh so parang to change the rules in the middle of the game, sayang naman," Ejercito said in an interview with GMA News’ News to Go.

"Naintindihan naman niya, yung messaging, at naiintindihan naman siguro niya na in the end, [baka] maka-clutter yan," he added.

Estrada earlier famously said that he was hurt when Ejercito claimed that the ongoing "sibling rivalry" between the two might reach the Senate.

Estrada and Ejercito are both sons of former President and Manila mayor-elect Erap Estrada.

Jinggoy is Erap’s son by former Senator Loi Estrada, while JV is current San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez’ son.

[JV took the last name Ejercito, the middle name of his father, former president Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada (born Jose Marcelo Ejercito, April 19, 1937]

[When former President Joseph Estrada was a young adult, he stumbled upon an acting role and enjoyed the sense of escapism that acting provided him. Quickly proving his acting prowess, he opted to pursue an acting career in lieu of completing his education. His parents strongly opposed to the decision and forbade him to use the family name. Instead, the fledgling actor took the screen name Joseph Estrada, “Estrada” being the Spanish word for “street.” He also gave himself the nickname “Erap,” a Spanish term for “pal” spelled backward.]

Despite a lukewarm relationship, Erap has also gone on record saying that the half-siblings have no major beef with each other.

For his part, Ejercito said he and Estrada have buried the hatchet upon the realization that their father is growing older.

"Napublicize naman yang [feud] through the years. But I guess we've matured. We may not be close, to be honest, pero hindi na siguro kami katulad noon na nagaaway," Ejercito said, adding that their father has a large part in their reconciliation.

"Yung last time na nagusap kami, pinagharap kami ng aming ama, si former president Erap last December. At sinabi niya sa amin, 'Alam ninyo ako 75 na ako, yung lolo ninyo namatay 78, yung isang tiyuhin ninyo 77, yung isa 81. Di na ako nalalayo dun,'" Ejercito said.

"Kaya siguro both of us realize na oo nga no, mukhang di na nga nalalayo kaya parang sinasabi niya na yun ang isa sa mga frustrations niya sa buhay, na lagi kaming nagaaway, siguro kaya mukhang yun yung tumalab sa amin nung huli. Ngayon 76 na siya, kaya at least we want him to be happy in his remaining years."

'Shocked' at 11

Ejercito ran under the alias JV Ejercito-Estrada, a move seen to capitalize on this father and brother’s name recall. Ejercito placed 11th in the polls, a shock, according to the incoming senator.

"Yung pinagtataka lang namin, bakit naging number 11. It was a shock. Even the exit polls, which were very accurate usually, fifth to seventh ang sabi," Ejercito said, adding that he felt his efforts did not match his showing in the polls.

"Disappointed yung campaigners ko. Talagang nagpakahirap sila, talagang sinuyod namin, kaya di rin nila naiintindihan kung bakit ganun," he said.

Despite this, Ejercito noted that he was thankful to even be included in the Magic 12.

"Sinabi ko na rin sa kanila, nagpost ako sa aking mga social networking accounts na we have to be thankful we're still in the top 12," he said.

"Ang mahalaga naman manalo tayo, it doesn't matter, kung five, twelve, eleven. Ang importante ako pinagmamalaki kong pinaghirapan ko ito," Ejercito added.

Ejercito said he will revert back to the use of Ejercito when he assumes office.

"Ang legal name ko naman talaga is Ejercito. I used Estrada during the campaign as a screen name, as an alias," he said.

Old name, new faces

Despite his use of his father’s name, Ejercito also said that should a measure to regulate political dynasties come up in the 16th congress, he will most likely support it.

"Siguro ako naman naniniwala na we're almost 10 0mlilion strong at yung paniniwala ko yung kapangyarihan whether economic or political, dapat ito maspread o [at]ut di ito dapat pinanghahawakan ng iilan lang. So kung sakaling may maghain ng anti dynasty bill, at makita ko naman na ito'y balanse at walang tinutukoy na partikular na pamilya, a ins it will apply to anybody, I will most likely support it," he said.

However in the same interview, Ejercito said he still thinks voters trust political families, but new candidates should have the mettle to prove themselves in their positions.

"Sa panahon ngayon in terms of young voters, maaring tinangkilik pa rin yung old names pero talagang new faces na,” he said,

"Hindi sapat na manalo mo na dala yung pangalang, tingin ko tinitingnan na rin ngayon yung credentials ano, yung track records, more so yung performance. So mukhang ngayon di sapat yung pangalan, kailangan yung performance at dapat may maipakita ka na, kasi talaga mukhang kalahati or more than half ay young voters," he added.

Legal marijuana?

Moving on to his proposed laws for the incoming 16th Congress, Ejercito admitted that he had a radical view in terms of the consumption of marijuana, saying he believes it should be legalized if used for medicinal purposes.

"For medical purposes. If it will heal the body, why not diba? As long as it's for therapeutic purposes, medicinal purposes, I am open to that. Basta sa medicinal purposes lang," he said. — BM, GMA News

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