MANILA, Philippines – Senator  Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Thursday advised his half-brother, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada,  “to be strong” amid allegations  being hurled at him in connection with the  “pork barrel” scam.

“Just remain strong for your family,” Ejercito said during the weekly “Kapihan sa Senado” on Thursday.

“Just call my name and I’ll be there…” he said.

As a family member, Ejercito said he also felt bad for his half-brother, who is now facing plunder and graft charges over the “pork barrel” scam.

The neophyte senator admitted that their relationship soured again after he signed the Senate blue ribbon committee’s report, recommending the filing of criminal charges, among others, against Estrada, Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile and Ramon “Bong” Revilla  Jr. and several other personalities.

“I think my signing, I would say, added fuel to the fire…” said Ejercito.

But if Estrada would only try to listen to his explanation, then Ejercito said his brother would understand why he signed the report.

“We’re still brothers…” Ejercito said.