Full Name: Joseph Marcelo Ejercito Estrada
Born: April 19, 1937
Parents: Engr. Emilio Ejercito and Maria Marcelo
Religion: Roman Catholic
Current Position: None in the government but recently appeared in a movie with Aiai de las Alas
Political Party: Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino
Running Mate: Jejomar Binay
- Juan Ponce Enrile
- Jinggoy Estrada
- Rodolfo Plaza
- Jose de Venecia III
- Apolinario Lozada
- JV Bautista
- Bong Revilla
- Miriam Defensor Santiago
His primary education was obtained at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University. He later took up an Engineering course at the Mapua Institute of Technology.
In his early twenties, he became a movie actor by accident but later proved himself to be an accomplished thespian, starring in a string of well-received films that earned him the title of a living legend in local filmdom. More popularly known as Erap, he is a five-time Best Actor awardee – a feat he repeated by winning the Best Picture award an equal number of times. This earned him a rare place in the FAMAS Hall of Fame in 1981 and 1984, respectively.
Life in Politics
Estrada entered politics in 1967 when he ran for mayor of San Juan, a municipality of Metro Manila, in 1968 and ended up losing his bid for mayor. He was only proclaimed mayor in 1969, after winning an electoral protest against Dr. Braulio Sto. Domingo. As mayor of San Juan he turned it to one of Metro Manila’s outstanding municipality (now a city).
The following year, he ran and won a seat in the Senate under the Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD).
In 1992, Joseph Estrada ran for vice-president as the running mate of Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. under the Nationalist People’s Coalition party. Estrada won the vice-presidency garnering more votes than his closest opponent, Ramon Mitra, Jr.’s running mate, Marcelo Fernan.
As Vice-President, he as the chairman of President Ramos’ Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC). Estrada arrested criminal warlords and kidnapping syndicates.
Estrada’s political strategists and financial backers were aware that a large share of the Philippine electorate, the “masa” (the poor and undereducated masses), were looking for a leadership they could relate to. Central in the campaign was Estrada’s campaign slogan “Erap para sa Mahirap” (Erap for the poor) that succeeded in inspiring the masses with the hope that Estrada would be the president of and for the masses.
The Estrada administration widened the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to the landless peasants in the country side. The latter’s administration distributed more than 266,000 hectares of land to 175,000 landless farmers, including land owned by the traditional rural elite. (Total of 523,000 hectares to 305,000 farmers during his 2nd year as President). On September 1999 he issued Executive Order(EO) 151, also known as Farmer’s Trust Fund, which allows the voluntary consolidation of small farm operation into medium and large scale integrated enterprise that can access long-term capital. President Estrada launched the Magkabalikat Para sa Kaunlarang Agraryo or MAGKASAKA.
The Estrada presidency was soon dogged by charges of plunder and corruption. He was reported by his Chief of Staff Aprodicio Laquian to have allegedly spent long hours drinking with shady characters as well as “midnight drinking sessions” with some of his cabinet members during meetings.
During the trial, the prosecution (composed of congressmen and private prosecutors) presented witnesses and evidence to the impeachment court regarding Estrada’s involvement in an illegal numbers game, also known as jueteng, and his maintenance of secret bank accounts.
On January 19, 2001, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, seeing the political upheaval throughout the country, decided to withdraw its support from the president and transfer its allegiance to the vice president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The following day, the Supreme Court declared that the seat of presidency was vacant. At noon, the Chief Justice swore in the constitutional successor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as President of the Philippines. Estrada and his family were quickly evacuated from the presidential palace.
On January 18, 2008, Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) placed a full-page advertisement in Metro Manila newspapers, blaming EDSA 2 of having “inflicted a dent on Philippine democracy”.
Estrada returned to his old home in San Juan. He maintained that he never resigned, implying that Arroyo’s government was illegitimate, despite the international community’s recognition of Arroyo’s succession and the acknowledgment of Arroyo as the new president by all government offices, the military, and the national police.
The new government charged him with plunder and had him arrested in April. Estrada’s supporters, particularly those among the poor, marched to the EDSA Shrine demanding Estrada’s release and his reinstatement as president, attempting to replicate the success of the previous revolution.
Tunay at Tapat na Nagmamahal sa Masang Pilipino
HINDI BA’T IYAN ANG MINIMITHI NATING LAHAT? ISANG PILIPINAS KUNG SAAN ANG MGA MAHIHIRAP AY MAY PAGKAKATAONG MAKARANAS NG KAUNTING GINHAWA? KUNG SAAN ANG PAG-ASA’T PANGARAP AY MAY PATUTUNGUHAN?
My 2cents on Erap
The legitimacy of Erap’s candidacy is still controversial. Most people still think that he is not qualified to run for re-election with the major point being a president can never run for the re-election. However, the ComElec still hasn’t given a final decision on the petition to disqualify Erap.
But I don’t think that that is the only reason reason his candidacy can be rendered illegitimate.
I don’t want my post to sound biased as I am to give a profile to all the eight candidates of the 2010 elections, however, all of us knows what has happened the first time Erap was elected. How many times do we have to be taught a lesson before we can learn?
OK, that sounded biased. But we all have to think about it. There are no second chances with these things.
In chances of winning the elections, Erap, apparently, still have a huge base of supporters. As from the surveys in the news, Erap is mostly ranked third. He might not really be on the top right now but his influence can still increase. And given his status, he certainly has a lot of funds to fuel a campaign.