MANILA, Philippines—Incoming neophyte senator JV Ejercito will apparently be guided by another “brother” when he takes his seat in the 16th Congress in July.
During his short speech at the Independence Day rites at the Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan on Wednesday, Sen. Gregorio Honasan II promised to “take care” of Ejercito, the outgoing representative from San Juan who succeeded in getting himself elected senator in the May 13 elections.
“I promise you, when (the 16th Congress) opens, I will take care of Senator JV,” said Honasan, who himself won reelection last May.
He said he would treat Ejercito, the son of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada by San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, as a “younger brother.”
“If (Ejercito) needs guidance, advice brought about by many bitter and painful experiences, you (the people of San Juan) can be assured we will not leave each other’s side,” Honasan said, as he thanked Gomez, Ejercito and other San Juan officials for treating him as “family” and helping boost his reelection bid.
Ejercito will be serving in the Senate beside his half-brother, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Estrada’s son by his wife, Loi Ejercito.
Earlier, Jinggoy said he was willing to be Ejercito’s adviser in the chamber despite a perceived rift between the two.
Last November, Jinggoy expressed disappointment over Ejercito’s supposed claim that their sibling rivalry might reach the Senate.
Ejercito was in turn reported to have refused to shoot a campaign television advertisement with his half-brother.
Honasan said he and Ejercito would stay together “through thick and thin.”
“And whatever it is (a senator) can contribute to the progress of this very beautiful … city of San Juan, do not hesitate. Rest assured that you won’t have to approach me. I will be the one to approach you,” he said.—Kristine Felisse Mangunay