Like Jinggoy, JV plans to run as 'Estrada' in 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito is considering using the alias “JV Estrada” in his reelection bid in 2019, in an attempt to boost his name recall against estranged half-brother former senator Jinggoy Estrada.

It would not be the first time, as he used “Estrada JV” as  hisnickname in his 2013 Certificate of Candidacy (COC).

But it would be more complicated this time around, as he would not be the only Estrada running for the Senate, as Jinggoy was eyeing a comeback.

Ejercito said he would use the Estrada name in an attempt to mend ties with his father, former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, after leaving the latter’s political party for the Nationalist People's Coalition.

It’s a big handicap for me. Sa survey, kita na ang nasa Top 5 branded name. 'Yung Ejercito 4 years pa lang.... My legal name is still Ejercito or baka isama as nickname 'yung Estrada but I will still be using JV Ejercito.... I’m thinking, siguro kung magkakausap kami ni Mayor Erap, hindi ko pinuputol yung pagiging Ejericto-Estrada ko. In fact, I’m consulting my lawyer na maisama ko pa rin [ang Estrada],” Ejercito said in a forum on Thursday, October 11.

(It's a big handicap for me. In the survey, you can see that the Top 5 candidates have branded names. The Ejercito is only here for 4 years.... My legal name is still Ejercito but maybe I will include Estrada as my nickname, but I will still be using JV Ejercito. I'm thinking, if Mayor Erap and I will be able to talk, I will tell him I am not cutting my Ejercito-Estrada ties. In fact, I'm consulting my lawyer if we can still include Estrada.)

He also recognized, however, that the use of the well-known family name would boost his chances of winning. Ejercito had lamented that his ratings dip was largely caused by the public’s confusion between him and Jinggoy. He reiterated that Jinggoy had the advantage because he carried the Estrada surname.

Ejercito admitted that the move might create confusion. After all, he said it is unprecedented in Philippine political history for two siblings to run for the Senate at the same time.

“Talagang mayroong confusion. May mawawalang boto because of confusion. That comes with the risk of running together kaya nga hindi ginagawa ito ng pamilya (There will be confusion. There will be lost votes because of the confusion. That comes with the risk of running together that's why families don't do this.),” the senator said.

While former senators Pia and Alan Peter Cayetano served some years together in the Senate, they did not run in the same elections simultaneously. In May 2019, Pia would run for the Senate, while her brother had said he would return to Taguig, indicating a congressional run.

Jinggoy and JV are sons of the former president with different women. Estrada is the son of former senator Loi Ejercito Estrada, while JV's mother is actress-turned-politician Guia Gomez, who is San Juan City Mayor. The brothers' rivalry worsened because of politics in San Juan City, where both had served as mayors, and in the Senate. (READ: JV Ejercito signs ‘pork’ plunder report vs brother) –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a multimedia reporter focusing on media, technology, and disinformation.