Ejercito: Reconciliation with Jinggoy unlikely while in politics

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Former Senator Jinggoy Estrada raises the hand of his half-brother, Senator JV Ejercito during a campaign sortie.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 20) — It will be hard for olive branches to be extended between Senator JV Ejercito and his half-brother Senator Jinggoy Estrada while they are still in politics.

That was what Ejercito told CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday when asked if he and plunder accused Estrada would be reconciling anytime soon.

"Maybe not now. When both of us are no longer in politics. Baka, you know, looking back pagtatawanan namin [we'll laugh about it.] But probably, while we are still both in politics, it might be hard," Ejercito said Wednesday.

Ejercito and Estrada are both running for senator in the May 2019 polls – something which has not sat well with the incumbent senator. It has prompted him to bolt out of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, the political party of their father, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Ejercito cited his disapproval of political dynasties in criticizing Jinggoy's senatorial bid, but also admitted that having a half-brother run alongside him for the same position is detrimental to him.

But for Ejercito, there is no escaping Estrada: They are both backed by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the regional party of presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

The tiff between the two reached yet another high last week during a campaign stop in Albay, where their staff got into a scuffle.

"That's not good. We're in front of many people na magkakaroon ng pagiging provoked. In fact, one of the staff, ganun din. Hindi ko na lang pinatulan, ako mismo ang prinovoke," Ejercito said.

[Translation: That's not good. We're in front of many people and there was provocation. In fact, one of the staff, the same thing. I just didn't retaliate, even I was being provoked.]

While mending ties between him and his half-brother seems unlikely for now, Ejercito has patched things up with his father after around five months of not talking to him.

Meanwhile, on Jinggoy's end, the former senator has appealed to voters to make Ejercito "number one," while he settles for "number two."

RELATED: Bong Go now number 3 in Pulse Asia latest senatorial survey

But his call seems to have fallen on deaf ears for voters, as Jinggoy has maintained a steady lead in pre-election surveys, while Ejercito has dropped out from the list of possible winners in two consecutive polls by Pulse Asia.

Should the survey ring true and he loses his re-election bid, Ejercito said he would just relax and ride his motorcycle around the Philippines.

"I can go to the most beautiful places. I'll try to, I don't know how I can push my advocacies but we'll try to find a way," he said.