KORONADAL CITY—Declining a proposed campaign endorsement of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada may have further strained the relationship between Rep. JV Ejercito and his older half-brother.
Estrada had prepared a series of TV advertisements showing him doing what had otherwise been unthinkable not too long ago—endorsing the senatorial run of his younger brother.
Production costs alone would have been at least P1 million, while actual showing on prime time TV would have been worth half of the amount for every 30 minutes, said a United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) insider familiar with the story board and campaign plan.
“Senator Jinggoy would spend for everything out of his own pocket,” the Inquirer was told on condition of anonymity.
“The initiative came from him and it’s not that their father (former President Joseph Estrada) had told him to do it,” the source added.
But the plan didn’t work.
Reached by phone, Estrada declined to elaborate on the matter. But in a meaningful tone he said: “You ask him, you ask him.”
Asked if he would ever endorse his brother at some point during the remainder of the campaign, he said, “That remains to be seen.”
Ejercito later released a statement denying that he had rejected Estrada’s planned endorsement.
“Humihingi ako ng paumanhin kay Kuya Jinggoy kung ang naka-abot sa kanya ay ‘ayoko ng endorsement nya.’ Hindi po totoo ito ( I apologize to my elder brother Jinggoy if the news that reached him was that I did not welcome his endorsement),” he said, admitting that he had been told about the campaign ad.
“Sino po ba namang kandidato ang tatanggi sa ganun, lalo na at libre (What candidate would refuse such an offer, especially one that is free)?”
He added: “Pero may mga bagay po na nagiging problema kung bakit hindi ito nagiging ganoon kadali (But there were some problems that’s why it was not so simple a matter).”
TV ad limits
Ejercito explained that his brother’s proposed TV ads might affect his own, given the limits set by the Commission on Elections.
“Kapag lumampas po dito ay baka maging dahilan pa para ma-disqualify ako ng Comelec (If I overstep my ad limits this may lead to my disqualification by the Commission on Elections),” he said.
Ejercito said the additional ads would also affect the campaign plan set long ago by his own team.
“Hindi po madaling magbago ng campaign plan sa kalagitnaan ng kampanya, na to be fair naman sa aming campaign team, ay mukhang maayos naman ang pagtanggap ng ating mga kababayan (It’s not easy to change the ad plan in the middle of the campaign, and to be fair to our campaign team, their plan seems to be well accepted by the public),” he said.