Saving Jinggoy and JV

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Sunday, February 9, 2014


JOSEPH Victor Gomez Ejercito, 44, won the 11th slot of senators last year, a close shave in a tight race.

It helped that JV is the son of former president Joseph Estrada whose clout with voters was affirmed when he almost became president in 2010 and bested Alfredo Lim for the Manila mayor’s seat in a bruising fight in 2013.

JV unabashedly tucked “Estrada” into his campaign name, as anyone with political pedigree and savvy would.

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After the pork barrel scandal erupted, which has linked his half-brother Jinggoy, also a senator, in the now infamous Enrile-Revilla-Estrada trio, JV, as any other politician, must dread the effects of kinship or association with Jinggoy.

Or maybe not.

In his meeting with journalists in Cebu Friday, JV said that in prosecuting Jinggoy and the others, due process must be observed.

He must not mean judicial procedures, which the suspects undergo, but presumption of innocence, which public rush to judgment negates.

JV can’t defend his brother more openly and stoutly: dilemma of the public official who has a relative in trouble. He’s no Soc Fernandez who as Talisay City mayor threw public duty to the winds for his wayward son.

Love lost

Besides, not much love is lost between JV and Jinggoy, a rift JV admits and with dad Erap tries to mend. (I asked JV about his having said “I’m not my brother’s keeper” and he didn’t remember.)

JV will help save Jinggoy whatever way he can but the neophyte senator might not wish to plunge with him in a free fall.

[paseares@gmail.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 10, 2014.

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