MANILASenator Joseph Victor Ejercito on Wednesday formally joined the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), leaving the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) party founded by his father, former president and now Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada.
Ejercito took his oath before NPC stalwart Senate President Vicente Sotto III at the Senate, just a day before the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2019 midterm elections.
The lawmaker has been mulling his transfer to the NPC ever since his half-brother, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, announced a comeback bid under the PMP.
It was a difficult decision, siyempre mahirap ring iwanan 'yung partido ng iyong ama (of course it's difficult to leave your father's party), Ejercito said in an interview after taking his oath.
He said he joined the NPC because he firmly believes that he needed another party for his reelection bid.
I am just doing this move na sa tingin ko ay I would need another party. Dahil sabi ko nga, sa aking paniniwala, na yun pong sa aking prinsipyo, na sana isa lang ang tumakbo (I am just doing this move because I believe that I would need another party. As I have said, it is my belief and principle that only one of us should run), Ejercito said.
Despite coming from a political clan, Ejercito has been pushing for an anti-political dynasty bill in the Senate.
However, he clarified that while he has severed his ties with the PMP, he is not severing his ties with his father, whom he said he loves and respects.
Utang ko ang buhay ko, pagpapalaki sa akin, sa kanya (I owe my life and upbringing to him), Ejercito said.
But while he believes that he and Jinggoy should not run under a single party, Ejercito still has to contend with the likelihood that the NPC might also endorse the Senate bid of his half-brother.
I will respect the leadership of the party, kung ano ang magiging pasiya (whatever decision they make), he said when asked about the possibility.
So, sa akin na lang (for me), I will look at my own campaign, and with the help of course of a good friendly party like NPC, sa tingin ko (I think) this is the right direction to take politically, he added. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency