Estradas prepare for 2019 polls


Senator Jinggoy Estrada told members of the movie press he will run in next year's mid-term elections to reclaim his seat in the Senate seat.

Detained for three years at the Camp Crame, Estrada is out on bail. He was released in September last year. It will be recalled that the Aquino administration charged him with plunder and graft charges for allegedly misuse of his discretionary funds or "pork barrel."

Estrada said he is now certain he would run again for the senate.

But, what happens to the movie he is planning to do this year? The former senator said he is temporarily shelving it pending the leading lady’s acceptance of the project. “But since I am filing my COC (certificate of candidacy) in October (for the May 13 2019 elections), I can’t start shooting after the elections. The movie can wait after the campaign and the elections.

Fellow senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Estrada were detained in 2014 over allegations they funneled congressional funds to bogus projects, allegedly with help from businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. Revilla has remained in detention after the Sandiganbayan denied him bail.

Estrada said a successful Senate bid in 2019 would serve as a "vindication" from the politically motivated charges the previous administration has hurled upon him.

Jinggoy feels positive about his case saying, “The truth will come out and I know deep in heart that I am innocent” adding that his three years in detention has made him closer to God and that he prayed for enlightenment and guidance on what he should do to be extricated from his incarceration.

His half brother and also senator, JV Ejercito, is a re-electionist. Would they be campaigning under one political party? Jinggoy merely shook his head and said, “I don’t think so.”

                                                Janella Ejercito in San Juan

Jinggoy’s eldest child, Janella, current vice mayor of the city of San Juan, is all set to take center stage at the coming elections in May next year. San Juan Mayor Guia Gomezsteps down after completing his third and last term as the chief executive of the flourishing Metro Manila city.

“The mayor has endorsed me to be the next after her,” she told members of the press over lunch at Annabel’s in Quezon City recently. She was with her father for that small luncheon with the entertainment press.

Jinggoy said that Janella, among his children, seems to be natural in politics. “I started as a vice mayor, then I was elected mayor, and on to the Senate. It seems Janella is actually following in my footsteps in politics.”

Janella laughed off his dad’s remark saying she was only following the logical path to where her fate in politics would take her. “Di ba after being a vice-mayor for three terms, it is but logical that my aspiration should be to be the next mayor. While my dad also followed the same political path, it is but a coincidence that I do the same. After all, I am Jinggoy’s daughter.”

Isn’t she bothered by talks that her family’s political rivals are also itching to get their hands on the city’s mayoralty?

“No, but I am aware that some people are interested to sit on the Mayor’s chair when the present mayor ends her term. But, they might have a problem because I have been endorse to be the official candidate for mayor at next year’s elections.”

As the daughter of Jinggoy, did Janella ever think of being in show business? “Well, having been born to a showbiz family, of course, children think of being like their parents, but being born also to a political family, I think I was more drawn to public service that show business.”

Well, the elections are still seven months away, but as days pass by swiftly, in a wink it’s campaign time for both father and daughter. Good luck, Jinggoy and Janella!