Ejercito on his ‘Kontra-Sona’: No minority blessing, no problem
MANILA, Philippines — With or without the minority group’s blessing, neophyte Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito will deliver his own counter state of the nation address (Sona) on Monday, next week.
“Kung talagang sinasabing walang basbas ito ng minority, ito po’y itutuloy natin dahil ito’y pribileheyo naman,” Ejercito said in an interview over DWIZ on Wednesday.
(If they are saying that this does not have the minority’s blessing, I will still push through with it because it is a privilege.)
He made the statements following detained Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s reported remarks that his planned counter-Sona had no blessings of the Senate minority group.
Ejercito and Estrada are both sons of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada with different women. They have long been at odds with each other. Both also belong the minority group in the Senate.
At first, Ejercito refused to comment on the issue, saying he did not want to dignify his brother’s remarks.
“E ayaw ko na lang hong patulan kasi mukhang kahit ano namang gawin ko e para sa kanya ay mali so hindi na lang po ako magko-comment,” he said.
(I don’t want to dignify his remarks anymore because it seems that for him, whatever I do is wrong, so I will not comment anymore.)
Just the same, Ejercito explained that he consulted detained Minority Leader Juan Ponce-Enrile before he drafted his counter-Sona.
And he said Enrile approved his plan and gave him a go signal.
Enrile and Estrada, along with Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, are detained at the Camp Crame in Quezon City on plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Ejercito said he would see Enrile again on Thursday to show his draft speech before he furnishes one fo his other colleagues in the minority.
Aside from Enrile, Ejercito, and Estrada, the three other members of the minority group are Senators Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Gringo Honasan, and Nancy Binay.
But if Sotto were to be asked, he said, there was no longer need for the minority group to deliver the said counter-Sona.
“I’m not sure. I think he (Ejercito) is consulting JPE (Enrile). I’m not (delivering a counter-Sona) because I do not see the need to do so,” Sotto said in a text message when asked if Ejercito would indeed deliver the counter-Sona in behalf of the minority group.
Asked again if Ejercito’s plan had the group’s blessing, Sotto said: “It depends. If the speech undergoes a consultation and inputs from the members of the minority. If not, then it’s a personal privilege speech.”
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