MANILA, Philippines – Acting Senate President Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada on Thursday promised to treat his younger half-brother – Senator-elect JV Ejercito – “as a fellow colleague” when the latter formally assumes his post in July.
Estrada admitted that he and Ejercito were close when they were younger but could not remember the time they started feuding with each other.
“That’s true, my father often brings him to our Sunday reunions in San Juan in the house of my grandparents,” he said when asked if it was true that he used to be close with his sibling.
Jinggoy is the son of former President Joseph Estrada with former Senator Loi Estrada while Ejercito is the former leader’s son with re-elected San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez.
But during the last May elections, the perceived rift between the two came to the fore when Senator Estrada claimed that Ejercito did not welcome his endorsement.
Asked how difficult it was for him to reach out to his brother, the incumbent senator said: “Alam mo, hindi ko na lang pinapansin (You know, I just ignore it). In fact when the 16th Congress opens in July 22, I will treat him as a fellow colleague.”
He reiterated his willingness to help Ejercito when the latter finally joins him in the Senate. The two are expected to be part of the new minority bloc in the chamber.
“If he asks for my opinion, guidance, I will be more than willing to guide him being a neophyte senator and I being a senior member of the chamber,” said Senator Estrada.