Former Senator Jinggoy Estrada hinted at a political comeback on Wednesday when he claimed he is “inclined” to join the senatorial race on 9 May 2022 national elections.
Estrada said there is a “strong possibility” that he will gun for a seat in the Chamber after a survey showed that he is one of the most preferred candidates in the next year’s elections.
Last April, a Pulse Asia Survey listed him as among the top names who are likely to win if the national elections were held during the survey period.
“The survey shows that I am still included in the winning circle. That will encourage me to run because it means that the public still trusts me,” the former senator said in an interview over ANC.
“I still have a lot of unfinished business to do in the Senate,” he added.
A senator of two terms, Estrada served 2004 to 2016. However, he spent the last two years of this stretch in jail after his alleged involvement in the multi-billion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam with alleged mastermind Janet Napoles.
Estrada, former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla were accused of funneling their PDAF allocation through Napoles’ bogus non-government organizations for commissions ranging from 40 to 60 percent and kickbacks allegedly divided among themselves.
With his case still pending before the Supreme Court (SC), Estrada said it will boost his Senatorial bid if the highest court acts to resolve it before the filing of candidacies in October.
He added that Revilla’s recent acquittal will help him clear the allegations against him.
“I cannot speak for my case because it is still pending in the courts but the acquittal of Sen. Bong will definitely be a big help because we have a similar case,” he said.
“I am just hoping that the SC will resolve or decide on my case before the elections or before the filing,” he said.
If he decides to run, it will be his second time that he will seek reelection.
Estrada ran for senator in 2019 together with his younger JV Ejercito under Hugpong ng Pagbabago. Both of them lost.
Ejercito is also likely to seek reelection although he has yet to make a formal announcement.
In a Facebook post, he said: “Everyone has the right to run for public office. But it is the prerogative of the people to choose a candidate with integrity, honesty & track record”.
“In my case, if I decide to run, it’ll be because I believe I have a good track record. I never stole public funds and, more importantly, I want to ensure that Universal Health becomes a reality for every Filipino,” he added.
In 2019, Ejercito left HnP for the National Peoples’ Coalition while Estrada joined Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino where he is currently serving as party president.