FORMER SENATOR JINGGOY ESTRADA
“FOR ME, IF NOT FOR THE FILIPINO MASSES, KUNG HINDI SA MASANG
PILIPINO, WALA NAMAN SI JOSEPH ESTRADA. WALA NAMAN DIN PO SI
JINGGOY ESTRADA. SO MALAKI ANG UTANG NA LOOB NAMIN SA KANILA.”
BY ROSY MINA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROMEO PERALTA JR.
Aside from taking great pride in being his father’s son, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada is even more than proud to declare and embody that he is an Anak ng Masa (Son of the Masses).
The Filipino masses, whom his family has served for decades under the tutelage of former President Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada, are the core and focus of his clan’s leadership.“For me, if not for the Filipino masses, kung hindi sa masang Pilipino, wala naman si Joseph Estrada. Wala naman din po si Jinggoy Estrada. So malaki ang utang na loob namin sa kanila (there won’t be a Joseph Estrada. There also won’t be a Jinggoy Estrada. So we are greatly indebted to them),” he tells LEAGUE Magazine.
Anak ng Masa, the slogan that Estrada goes by, is a homage to his father’s widely popular slogan, Erap Para sa Mahirap (Erap for the Poor).
“If there is what you call a Man of the Masses, and I’m referring to my father, and maybe that’s the brand of leadership that I have,” says Estrada. “He was a first class actor and superstar then mayor, senator, vice president, and president.”
As a little kid, he tagged along with his father to all the barangays in the City of San Juan, where both of them eventually became mayors. “I saw for myself that he really has a big heart for the poor,” he recalls.
“He showed this through his movies. Gumawa siya ng mga pelikulang pangmasa (he made films for the masses). He portrayed a lot of roles like a laborer, jeepney driver, and taxi driver. Then when he became a public servant, he saw that his priority is to help the underprivileged.
And that is what I am trying to emulate."
GUIDED BY HIS ONE AND ONLY IDOL
Estrada, born Jose Pimentel Ejercito, Jr., followed his father’s footsteps both in show business and public service. In 1988, he was elected as vice mayor of San Juan City. He rose through the ranks, serving three consecutive terms as mayor from 1992 to 2001 before being elected as senator for two terms from 2004 to 2016.
“Talagang wala na akong ina-idolize [na iba] kung hindi ang tatay ko (I really do not idolize anyone else except for my father) ," he remarks.
For him, it was memorable that he won his first term as mayor of San Juan when his father prevailed as vice president, noting that they were in a better position to help their constituents.“When I was mayor, parang na-turn over niya sa akin ‘yung reins ng government ng San Juan (it was like he turned over to me the reins of government of San Juan City). And I fulfilled all my promises to my constituents here in San Juan and of course, with the guidance of my father, him being the city’s mayor for 17 years.”