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Bye, dad! JV jumps to NPC


By Xave Gregorio

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito has formally left his father’s party, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), for the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), and would be fielded as one of the latter’s senatorial candidates for the 2019 elections.

Ejercito took his oath Wednesday (October 10) before Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who is also NPC’s senior council leader.

“It was a difficult decision, siyempre mahirap ring iwanan ‘yung partido, ‘yung ama,” Ejercito said after taking his oath.

He said his father, former President, now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who leads the PMP, is disgruntled at his exit from the party. However, he would speak with him to try and iron things out.

“Sana maintindihan niya. Kasi hindi naman talaga magandang tingnan na dalawa kaming magkapatid, iisang partido,” Ejercito said.

Ejercito has previously said that he is leaving PMP over his objection to both him and his half-brother, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, running for senator in the May 2019 polls.

But Ejercito clarifies, “Bagamat mayroon kaming mga disagreements, siguro minsan, mga pagkakaiba ng pananaw, hindi ko pinuputol ‘yung pagiging ama, ‘yung respeto ko, ‘yung pagmamahal nandiyan. Utak ko, buhay ko, pagpapalaki sa akin, sa kanya.”

“I’m just doing this move na sa tingin ko, I would need another party. Dahil nga sa aking prinsipyo na sana isa lang ang tumakbo,” Ejercito added.

However, there is no escaping Jinggoy for JV. Both of them are featured in the senatorial lineups of the NPC and Hugpong ng Pagbabago, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s regional party.

Asked about this, JV said he would let the NPC decide how to deal with it.

Ejercito’s exit from PMP has long been in the works, as he initially planned to jump to ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan, before internal riffs and the abrupt speakership change at the House left politikos scrambling out of the party.

He is the latest major addition to the NPC, which Sotto touts as the second-largest party in the country, following former Senator Lito Lapid, who would also be fielded by the part as a senatorial bet.

“We are honored and very glad to have him because he’s one of the more productive members of the Senate, especially here in the 17th Congress,” Sotto said.

In addition to JV, Jinggoy and Lapid, the NPC is also looking to field Senators Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel IV, Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano, Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.