Two years after his term expired, Jinggoy Estrada has reiterated his desire to seek a new mandate in the Senate in the 2019 mid-term elections.
Last April, the actor-turned-senator confirmed his intention to run again under the administration ticket. In an informal get-together with members of the entertainment media recently, Jinggoy said he remains focused on returning to public service even as he also admitted that his long-anticipated showbiz comeback has been put on hold since his preferred leading lady, Eugene Domingo, is reportedly still spending time in Italy with her rumored Italian boyfriend.
But more than talking about himself, the former senator expressed his support for daughter Janella “Jel” Ejercito Estrada, who is seeking the mayoralty of San Juan City also in next year’s polls.
Currently, the vice mayor of San Juan, Jel’s candidacy as mayor is endorsed by no less than incumbent Mayor Guia Gomez, who will complete her third term of office and is no longer eligible to run for next year.
If she wins, the 28-year-old political science graduate from De La Salle University will hold the same position that her father, grandfather and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and uncle, Sen. JV Ejercito held at the early parts of their political careers.
In an interview with this writer, Jel admitted that her career options were always focused on the two things her family is most identified with — showbiz and politics.
“My initial dream was to enter showbiz but Daddy didn’t want me to because he told me it was going to be tough on me. But he was okay with my brothers being in the industry. He must have thought that I’m more suited for politics,” Jel said in mostly Filipino.
“But when I entered politics, first as councilor and then as vice mayor, it was pretty much the same as showbiz.”
‘Old enough to know’
Asked about the projects she intends to pursue if elected as the next top official of San Juan, Jel points to continuing what she has started since she first got elected as the city’s vice mayor in 2016.
“We’ll continue rehabilitating our hospitals and schools. But as entrusted by Mayor Guia to handle the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council, I’m particularly proud of what we’ve achieved with the former drug users who surrendered and signed up for our Katatagan Kontra Droga sa Komunidad program,” she beamed.
Jel admitted that her career options were always focused on the two things her family is most identified with — showbiz and politics.
The vice mayor said under the outpatient program implemented at the barangay level for a period of six months, there have been three batches of people who surrendered or about 400 in all that have been successfully rehabilitated and as she promised, were subsequently given jobs by the city government.
“They’re okay and no longer test positive for drugs. Almost all of our barangays are now drug-free and what we did here in San Juan has served as a model that is being followed by other cities,” she added.
Another program Jel initiated is bringing a singing contest segment inspired by “Tawag ng Tanghalan” of popular noontime show It’s Showtime in her city, with no less than Vice Ganda giving his blessings.
The proud father that he is, Jinggoy said his daughter never ceases to amaze him with her sincerity and determination in serving her constituents. He describes Jel as “a rising star” as far as the political arena is concerned.
Jinggoy added that he does occasionally give advice to his daughter but is also quick to say that for the most part, he does not really meddle in the way she does her work as vice mayor.
“She’s very smart and old enough to know what she’s doing. She’s a very capable public servant,” he quipped.