Joseph Estrada

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Former President Joseph Estrada

To read this article in Filipino, see Joseph Estrada.

Joseph Ejercito Estrada (born José Marcelo Ejército; April 19, 1937), more popularly known by his screen name Joseph Estrada and nickname Erap, is a former actor and politician. He served as the 13th president of the Philippines, holding office from 1998 to 2001. Prior to presidency, he was a mayor of San Juan from 1969 to 1986, a senator from 1987 to 1992, and a vice president under President Fidel V. Ramos from 1992 to 1998. His term as president was cut short by his ouster from office following a prematurely ended impeachment trial. He was the first sitting president in Asia to undergo an impeachment trial.

Estrada was sentenced to reclusión perpetua by the Sandiganbayan in 2007 for the plunder of $80 million from the government, but he was later granted pardon by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Losing in 2010 presidential election, he later served as mayor of Manila for two terms, eventually losing to Isko Moreno in 2019.

Personal life

Estrada was born on 19 April 1937 in Tondo, Manila to Emilio Ejercito Sr., a chief sanitary engineer in Manila, and Maria Marcelo. Estrada was given the name José Marcelo Ejército and is the eighth of 10 children. Among his siblings was Emilio Ejercito Jr. also known as George Estregan, an actor and writer. Estrada finished his primary education at the Ateneo de Manila University. He began his secondary education in the same school but was expelled during his second year for poor conduct. He later enrolled as a civil engineer major at the Mapua Institute of Technology then transferred to the Central Colleges of the Philippines, but he dropped out before finishing college to pursue a career in acting. In 1990, during his first term as senator, he was conferred a doctor of humanities (honoris causa) degree by the University of Pangasinan. He was given the same degree by the Bicol University in 1997.

Estrada is married to the physician and former senator Luisa "Loi" P. Ejercito-Estrada and has three children with her: former senator Jinggoy Estrada, Jacqueline, and Jude. His child from his relationship with actress Guia Gomez, Joseph Victor Ejercito, also entered politics and served as mayor and senator.



Estrada's dropping out of college, involvement in a street gang, and eventually joining the film industry displeased his family to the extent that they forbade him from using the family name, Ejercito. He picked the screen name Joseph Estrada. As an actor, he acquired the nickname "Erap," the reverse spelling for “pare,” short for “kumpare,” a Tagalog word for “godfather to one’s child” or, alternatively, “buddy.” He starred in over a hundred movies and produced more than half of them. He was the first FAMAS Hall of Fame awardee for Best Actor (1981) and also became a Hall of Fame awardee as a producer (1983). In 1989, in his first term as senator, he made his last film, in which he played the role of an activist who opposed the presence of US military bases in the Philippines. He often played "heroes of the downtrodden," making him popular among the masses.


San Juan Mayor

Before the November 14, 1967 election for mayoralty of the municipality of San Juan, Rizal, Estrada had petitioned the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch for authorization to use his screen name “Joseph Estrada,” and the petition was granted. He then filed his certificate of candidacy under the name Joseph Ejercito Estrada, using both his birth last name Ejercito and his screen name. On the matter of the electoral protest filed by Mr. Estrada against Braulio Sto. Domingo, the Supreme Court, on 29 July 1969, upheld the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Rizal declaring Joseph Ejercito Estrada as the duly elected mayor of San Juan, Rizal. He served as mayor of San Juan from 1969 up to 1986, when then President Ferdinand Marcos fell from power. When Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency in 1986, all local government officials suspected of malfeasance and anomalies, Estrada included, were removed from office.


Estrada ran for senator in 1987 and won a seat under the Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD) party.

Vice President

Estrada became Vice President of the Republic in 1992. Estrada initially intended to run for the presidency in the 1992 presidential elections but later decided to join Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr of the Nationalist People's Coalition and run as vice president instead. Cojuangco lost to LAKAS-NUCD bet Fidel V. Ramos. Under the Ramos administration, Estrada was appointed head of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC).


In 1997, after five years as the country's second-in-command, Estrada finally decided to run for president. His political strategists recognized the massive voting power of the “masa” (the masses) and launched a campaign specifically designed to woo them. Finding a leader they could identify with, the masa rallied behind Estrada and his slogan "Erap para sa mahirap" (Erap for the poor). Edgardo Angara was defeated by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the vice presidency while Estrada won by a landslide with 11 million votes and was seated as the 13th president of the Philippines. Estrada took his oath of office as president on 30 June 1998 in the historical town of Malolos, Bulacan.

Domestic Policies

Early into his presidency, Estrada removed all sovereign guarantees that would require the sovereign Filipino people to assume the financial losses of private companies doing business with the government. His program as president was called "Angat-Pinoy 2004." On the day he took office, a new agency in government called the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), which institutionalizes the processes of the Social Reform Agenda (SRA) in order to sustain its gains, was established. Joseph Estrada became its first chairman. The law also mandates the NAPC to enhance the programs, approaches, and strategies to strengthen the partnership between government and the basic sectors.

In terms of peace and order, Estrada created the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) with the objective of minimizing, if not totally eradicating, car theft and kidnapping in Metro Manila. With the help of this task force, the Philippine National Police for the first time in history achieved a record-high trust rating of +53 percent. Panfilo Lacson was its first head. Estrada also created the Presidential Commission for Mass Housing (PCMH), and with the help of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), he provided 190,000 households with housing units, construction, and improvement of roads and bridges. Construction of classrooms was also started. The president also proposed improvements to the curricula to meet both global standards and local needs, and controlled the hiking prices of transportation fairs, food, and medicine.

In 1999, Estrada signed into law and implemented Republic Act no. 8749, better known as The Clean Air Act, which states that "[t]he State shall promote and protect the global environment to attain sustainable development while recognizing the primary responsibility of local government units to deal with environmental problems."

In May 1999, Estrada issued Executive Order (EO) 102, which streamlined the organization and functions of the country's public health care system. Also in September of the same year, he issued EO 151, also known as Farmers’ Trust Fund, which allowed the voluntary consolidation of small farm operations into medium and large-scale integrated enterprises that could access long-term capital. Estrada also launched Magkabalikat Para sa Kaunlarang Agrararyo, or MAGKASAKA. The Department of Agrarian Reform forged joint ventures between private investors and the agrarian sector to make farmer beneficiaries competitive.

International Relations

The Estrada administration upheld the foreign policy thrusts of the Ramos administration, focusing on national security, economic diplomacy, assistance to nationals, and image-building. The Philippines continued to be at the forefront of the regional and multilateral arena. It successfully hosted the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 1998 and undertook confidence-building measures with China over the South China Sea issue through a meeting in March 1999. Estrada strengthened bilateral ties with neighbouring countries through his visits to Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.

In 1999, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States was ratified in the Senate. The country also sent a delegation of 108 observers to the Indonesian parliamentary elections, and engaged in cooperative activities in the areas of security, defense, combating transnational crimes, economy, culture, and the protection of OFWs and Filipinos abroad.


In 1998, the Philippine economy deteriorated again as a result of a spillover from the Asian financial crisis, although not as much as other Asian nations, and a wave of natural disasters dragged the economy down. Growth fell to about -0.6 percent in 1998 from 5.2 percent in 1997, but recovered to 3.4 percent by 1999 and to 4.0 percent by 2000. The inflation rate came down from 11 percent in January 1999 to just a little over 3 percent by November of the same year. This was in part due to the successful agricultural program Agrikulturang Maka-MASA, through which it achieved an output growth of 6 percent, a record high at the time. The peso was 44 to the dollar in 1998 and recovered by 38 to a dollar the following year. The interest rates were 28 percent in 1998 and came down to 14 percent by 1999. Estrada attempted to resist protectionist measures, and efforts to continue the reforms begun by the Ramos administration made significant progress.

Estrada also established a socioeconomic program called Angat-Pinoy 2004 and pointed out five things for the economy:

  • Unemployment to decline from 10.1 percent in 1998 to 6.7 to 8 percent
  • Inflation to slow down from 9.8 precent in 1998 to 4 to 5 percent
  • The national government’s fiscal balance to improve from a deficit of 1.8 percent of GNP in 1998 to a surplus of 0.7 percent of GNP
  • Finally, export growth to remain strong at 14.5 to 15.1 percent

Alongside these objectives, the plan called for the nurturing of a "responsive citizenry" and creation of an environment conducive to a better life for all. However, a major bank failure in April 2000 and the impeachment and subsequent departure of Estrada in the beginning of 2001 led to another slower growth.

Judicial Appointments

Estrada appointed Hilario G. Davide Jr., then associate justice, as chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on 30 November 1998. He also appointed Bernardo P. Pardo (1998), Arturo B. Buena (1999), Minerva P. Gonzaga-Reyes (1999) and Sabino R. De Leon, Jr. (1999) as associate justices.

Moro War

During the Ramos administration, a cessation of hostilities agreement was signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in July 1997. This was continued by a series of peace talks and negotiations in the Estrada administration. However the MILF, an Islamic group formed in 1977, seeks to be an independent Islamic State from the Philippines. Despite the agreements, a sequence of terrorist encounters with the Philippine military and the civilians still continued. Terrorist attacks included 277 committed violations; the kidnapping of a foreign priest named Father Luciano Benedetti; the occupying and setting on fire of the municipal hall of Talayan, Maguindanao; the takeover of the Kauswagan Municipal Hall; the bombing of the Lady of Mediatrix boat in Ozamiz City; and the takeover of the Narciso Ramos Highway.

The country's image abroad was damaged, discouraging much-needed investments. On 21 March 2000, Estrada declared an all-out war against the MILF, which was found out to have links with terrorist Al-Qaeda. During the war, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) asked Estrada to agree to a cease-fire with the MILF, but Estrada opposed the idea, arguing that a cease-fire would cause more terrorist attacks. For the next three months of the war, Camp Abubakar, the headquarters of the MILF, fell, along with other 13 major camps and 43 minor camps, all of which came under control by the government. MILF leader Hashim Salamat fled the country and went to Malaysia. The MILF later declared a jihad on the government. On 10 July of the same year, Estrada went to Mindanao and raised the Philippine flag symbolizing victory. After the war Estrada said, "... will speed up government efforts to bring genuine and lasting peace and development in Mindanao." In the middle of July, he ordered the military to arrest top MILF leaders.

In his State of the Nation Address, Estrada highlighted his vision for Mindanao:

  1. To restore and maintain peace in Mindanao—because without peace, there can be no development.
  2. To develop Mindanao—because without development, there can be no peace.
  3. To continue seeking peace talks with the MILF within the framework of the Constitution—because a peace agreed upon in good faith is preferable to a peace enforced by force of arms.
  4. To continue with the implementation of the peace agreement between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front or MNLF—because that is the government’s commitment to the Filipinos and to the international community.

In addition to this, Estrada said his administration could move with more speed in transforming Mindanao into a progressive economic center. High on the list of priorities was the plight of MILF guerrillas who were tired of fighting and had no camps left to report to. On October 5, 2000, 669 MILF mojahedin led by the renegade vice mayor of Marugong, Lanao del Sur, Malupandi Cosandi Sarip, and seven other battalion commanders, surrendered to Estrada at the 4th ID headquarters in Camp Edilberto Evangelista, Brgy. Patag, Cagayan de Oro City. They were followed shortly by a second batch of 855 surrenderees led by MILF Commander Sayben Ampaso on December 29, 2000.

President Estrada’s Financial Status in 1999

Months before Estrada’s impeachment trial started on 7 December 2000, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)  published an article on the state of his finances. At the time of writing, while the president admitted to his extramarital liaisons with three other women: former actress Guia Gomez, the mother of his son JV Ejercito; Laarni Enriquez, also a former actress with whom he has three children; and Joy Melendrez, a former model with whom he has a son, he did not explain how he was able to maintain and support his various households. His declared net worth of P35.8 million and net income of P2.3 million in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN) in 1999 were not enough to explain the lavish lifestyle and varied business interests of his families. Members of their family were shareholders of 66 companies. The assets of 14 companies alone were worth P600 million. He had not released his SALNs since 1987, failing to include his and his wife Loi Ejercito’s holdings in 11 companies, which transacted with and were regulated by government agencies. These businesses raised conflict of interest issues for the president and violated the provisions of the Constitution, that he should duly avoid conflicts of interest in the conduct of his office.

His family had formed 11 new companies since 1998. Guia Gomez alone was listed as shareholder and incorporator of 33 companies, seven of which were in real estate with a combined authorized capital of P200 million. The president appointed not only Guia Gomez’s business partners such as Julius Topacio, who was also undersecretary of a department and his chief accountant as listed in his 1987 SALN; Rosario Yu, who was Estrada’s friend Lucio Tan’s ex-secretary; former presidential assistant Cecilia Ejercito De Castro, who was implicated in a P200-million textbook scandal, though he claimed he did not know her in the wake of the scandal; but also his friends and associates, as mentioned in the complaint for impeachment against him. He appointed Captain Rufino F. Pimentel, a brother-in-law, as Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) director; Raul de Guzman, also a brother-in-law, as member of the board of regents of the University of the Philippines; and the son of Mr. De Guzman, as presidential consultant on environment and water.

Corruption Charges and Impeachment

Estrada's presidency was soon marred by accusations of plunder and corruption. In October 2000, Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson, a close friend of Estrada's, alleged that he had personally given the president P400 million as payoff for jueteng—a grassroots-based numbers game, as well as P180 million from the government price subsidy for the tobacco farmers' marketing cooperative. Singson came out with the accusations following a supposed attempt on his life. Singson's allegation caused an uproar across the nation, which culminated in the House of Representatives' filing of an impeachment case against Estrada on November 13, 2000. The impeachment suit was brought to the Senate and an impeachment court was formed, with Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. as presiding officer. Estrada, pleading “not guilty,” called for two of the country's leading lawyers to his side, former chief justice Andres Narvasa and Estelito Mendoza. Estrada was the first president to have ever been served the articles of impeachment, but the Senate impeachment trial was disrupted in January 2001, when prosecutors resigned after the Senate as an impeachment court voted, by 11-10, not to open a second envelope that contained details of the Jose Velarde account at Equitable PCI Bank. These developments triggered People Power II, which unseated President Estrada.

Impeachment Complaint Against President Joseph Ejercito Estrada

On the first ever impeachment complaint in Philippine history against an incumbent president, the complainants, then House Rep. Heherson Alvarez, Teodoro Casiño and Teresita Quintos Deles, took their oath and signed before a witness that they were filing said complaint based on the following grounds: bribery, graft and corrupt practices, betrayal of public trust, and culpable violation of the Constitution. The complaint was filed based on the provisions of Article XI, Sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution. The counts mentioned in the complaint are as follows:


  • Receiving jueteng payola of P10 million a month from jueteng lords

Graft and Corrupt Practices

  • Taking P130 million from tobacco tax to supposedly cover 1998 election expenses
  • Participating directly in his family’s real estate business that constructed 36 townhouses in Vermont Park Executive Village, Antipolo City
  • Swearing on his SALN that he had family business interests in only three firms, although government records showed that he and his wife, mistresses, and their children were shareholders in 59 other companies.

Betrayal of Public Trust

  • Attempts to exonerate Dante Tan, a known Estrada pal, from accusations of insider trading and stock price manipulation of Best World Gaming
  • Covering up supposed abuses by two of his sons instead of letting the law take its course: Jinggoy, who had figured in a fight with doctors in a hospital emergency room, and Jude, who flew a government plane to Cagayan de Oro and left without paying his hotel and restaurant bills; appointment of cousin Cecilia Ejercito de Castro as presidential assistant though he claimed not to know her at the height of the 1998 textbook scandal, and appointment of “more than a hundred kumpares as presidential advisers, consultants, assistants.
  • Fast growing assets in family firms; he participated in business for himself, his family and friends
  • Release of P100 million in charity sweepstakes funds to a foundation with offices at his home address

Culpable Violation of the Constitution

  • Breaking his oath of office, which is to uphold the law, when he provided cabinet members with smuggled luxury vans, thereby violating the Anti-Graft Law and the Customs Code
  • Going against a 1994 Supreme Court Ruling by appointing Ramon Cardenas, Magdangal Elma, Robert Aventajado, Ric Tan Legada, Gaudencio Mendoza, and Raul de Guzman to multiple government posts

This was the first time Filipinos witnessed, through radio and television, an elected president stand in trial and face possible impeachment. During the trial, the prosecution presented witnesses and evidence to the impeachment court proving Estrada's involvement in jueteng. The existence of secret bank accounts which he allegedly used for receiving payoffs was also brought up-front. Singson, after being offered immunity by anti-Estrada lawmakers, stood as witness against the president during the trial and said that he and the president were partners in-charge of the countrywide jueteng operations. Though his credibility was questioned several times, the depth of Singson's personal knowledge on questionable activities of the president, drawing from reactions of the citizens, seemed to weigh more.


The impeachment trial took on an unexpected turn on 16 January 2001, when the impeachment court—composed of senators—voted not to open a controversial envelope. The envelope was rumored to contain incriminating evidence against the president, and its opening would have decided Estrada's fate right there and then. The following lists show how the senators voted regarding the examining of the envelope:

Voted to examine Voted against examining
  1. Rodolfo Biazon
  2. Renato Cayetano
  3. Franklin Drilon
  4. Juan Flavier
  5. Teofisto Guingona, Jr.
  6. Loren Legarda
  7. Ramon Magsaysay, Jr.
  8. Sergio Osmeña III
  9. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
  10. Raul Roco
  1. Blas Ople
  2. Juan Ponce Enrile
  3. Nikki Coseteng
  4. Gregorio Honasan
  5. Robert Jaworski
  6. Teresa Aquino-Oreta
  7. John Henry Osmeña
  8. Ramon Revilla
  9. Miriam Defensor Santiago
  10. Vicente Sotto III
  11. Francisco Tatad

The prosecution panel and the officials from the opposition walked out of the court in protest of the vote. Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. also resigned as Senate president to signify his objection to the turnout of the proceedings. The events fueled a three-day street protest.

Gathered at the historic EDSA Shrine, the same site of the 1986 revolution that overthrew Ferdinand Marcos, hundreds of Filipinos staged rallies asking for Estrada's resignation. Students, professionals, and various civic groups took part in what came to be known as EDSA II. The number of protesters grew from hundreds to thousands in a matter of days. The rallies were also held simultaneously in provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao. On 19 January 2001, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Angelo Reyes joined the assembly at EDSA, announcing that the 113,000-strong AFP was withdrawing support for Estrada.

On 20 January 2001, news came to the thousands gathered at EDSA that President Estrada had stepped down. People Power II came to a head at his departure. Following the Supreme Court's declaration of vacancy of the presidential seat, Chief Justice Hilario Davide swore in the constitutional successor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as the president of the Philippines.  Estrada afterwards claimed that he only took a leave of absence from presidency on 20 January 2001 and left Malacañang temporarily.


A few days after his return home, his lawyers filed cases of protest against the unconstitutionality of the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, that it was illegitimate, despite the local and international recognition of Arroyo's succession.

He was arrested at his San Juan home on 25 April 2001 for plunder charges filed against him at Sandiganbayan. Upon learning of the former president's arrest, Estrada's supporters came in waves to the EDSA Shrine demanding his release and reinstatement as president. On 1 May 2001, the pro-Estrada protesters marched straight to the presidential palace chanting “EDSA III.” Violence soon erupted between the police and the protesters, forcing the government to declare a state of rebellion. The military was able to quell the rebellion but when the melee was over, the streets looked like a war zone—vans were turned upside-down and tires were set on fire. Many of Estrada's supporters were arrested, including politicians who allegedly provoked the unrest.

Estrada would spend more than six years in detention, first at Veterans Memorial Medical Center, second at Camp Capinpin in Tanay and finally at his Tanay rest house.

Arraignment for Plunder and Perjury Charges

Estrada’s trial was delayed because his lawyers filed petitions to cancel it. On 10 July 2001, a few hours before the rescheduled arraignment of Estrada at the Sandiganbayan for the crime of plunder and commission of felony through perjury, his lawyers filed a motion with the Supreme Court to declare that the trial at the Sandiganbayan was unconstitutional, despite Estrada’s vote to pass the plunder law in 1991 when he was still a senator. Since the Supreme Court had not passed a judgment on the motion by the time the hearing at Sandigan was supposed to proceed, the deposed president was arraigned for plunder charges, and this despite refusing to enter a plea because he did not recognize the court’s authority. His co-accused, son Jinggoy Estrada and lawyer Eduardo Serapio, also refused to enter a plea, hence the Court entered a plea of “not guilty” for all the accused. On 19 November 2001, the Supreme Court en banc passed a judgment that the R.A. 7080, otherwise known as the Plunder Law, as amended by R.A. 7659, is constitutional, thereby junking for lack of merit Estrada’s petition to declare the law unconstitutional.

On 7 September 2007, the Sandiganbayan's anti-corruption court, headed by Teresita De Castro, announced that the court would promulgate the judgment on 12 September 2007 for the 6-year plunder trial of former president Estrada. Verdicts would also be handed down to his two co-accused. Court Sheriff Ed Urieta said tight security on the date set would include 4,000 police and 2,000 soldiers, and military. Estrada, accused of stealing 4 billion pesos in illegal funds and falsely declaring his assets, went under house arrest in 2001.


On 12 September 2007, the Sandiganbayan acquitted Estrada on charges of perjury for not declaring his true financial status on his SALN but gave him a verdict of "guilty beyond reasonable doubt" of plunder, the first Philippine president to be convicted of such a crime. The court, however, considered the former president's six-year stay in prison as part of his time served, though it was unclear as to when he might be eligible for parole.

Along with the guilty verdict, the anti-graft court also ruled the forfeiture (in favor of the government) of Estrada's bank accounts, worth an estimated 442 million pesos (including interests); the Jose Velarde accounts, worth 189 million pesos (including interests); and the "Boracay" mansion in New Manila, Quezon City. Estrada was, however acquitted, of perjury for falsely declaring his assets and liabilities while he was president. His co-accused in the plunder charges were both acquitted.

The Sandiganbayan decision was only for the former president, Senator Estrada, and Serapio. Another accused, Charlie "Atong" Ang, was sentenced to up to six years in prison and wasput on probation in March 2007. The Sandiganbayan terminated the probation in 2009.The other co-accused, Yolanda Ricaforte, Jaime Dichaves, Alma Alfaro, Eleuterio Tan, and Delia Rajas were still at large and had not been arraigned as of September 2007.

Appeal and Withdrawal

After the conviction, Estrada and his counsel announced their plan to appeal the anti-graft court's conviction. Estelito Mendoza, one of the convicted president's lawyers, claimed the prosecution failed to prove that it was Estrada who collected the proceeds and that the proceeds were public funds. But on 22 October 2007, the former president told the anti-graft court that he was dropping his motion for reconsideration on his verdict and would instead seek pardon for the president. The Sandiganbayan granted Estrada's motion to waive his right to appeal the next day. Estrada's withdrawal made the court's decision final, paving the way for the possibility of pardon.


Estrada became a free man again on 25 October 2007 on the basis of a pardon granted by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; the pardon was announced by then press secretary Ignacio Bunye. Bunye said Arroyo's decision was based on a Department of Justice (DOJ) recommendation and that Estrada's decision not to pursue the appeal for his conviction made way for the presidential pardon. The press secretary also added that the presidential pardon recognized Estrada's six years in detention. Estrada's civil rights would be restored through the pardon if he accepted it; however, the forfeitures imposed by the Sandiganbayan in the earlier conviction would remain.

Return to Politics

2010 Presidential Bid

On October 21, 2009, Estrada declared that he would run again for presidency in the 2010 national elections with Makati mayor Jejomar Binay as his vice-presidential running mate.

Disputes on the eligibility of his bid arose since he had been convicted for the crime of plunder. Under the Constitution of the Philippines, no individual may be elected to any government office if he has been charged with a criminal offense. The Arroyo government also clarified that the presidential pardon given to Estrada carried certain provisions that prohibited him from seeking and occupying any elective government position.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) approved his bid with the ruling that he was not covered by the Constitutional ban on presidential reelection since he was not an incumbent president. COMELEC added that the pardon had restored Estrada's civil and political rights. Benigno Simeon Aquino III emerged as the winner in the presidential race, with Estrada coming in second in the final official COMELEC tally.

2013 Manila Mayoralty Bid

In May 2012, Estrada stated that his party, Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), was not a political party but the "force of the masses." PMP leaders claimed that PMP was getting back on its feet just like its leader who was deposed and imprisoned. After  Estrada’s ouster, many party members had abandoned the PMP.

Mr. Estrada had since relocated his residence to Sta. Mesa, Manila in preparation for the city elections in 2013. His running mate was reelectionist Isko Moreno, also known as Francisco Domagoso, then vice mayor of Manila.

Then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim’s supporters criticized Estrada as not being a “real Manileño.” Estrada replied that he was as he was born at the Manuguit Maternity Hospital in 1937. He said he was running as mayor in Manila and not San Juan because he was already through with serving San Juan and he aimed to beautify Manila. Part of his platform included the urban renewal of Manila, job and livelihood generation, and an all-out war against criminals and scalawags in uniform. Estrada had commissioned a University of the Philippines study on Manila and planned to implement the recommendations based on the study.

Estrada and Mayor Lim used to be allies. Lim was  a member of Estrada's PMP but due to a falling-out with Estrada, he left PMP and ran for reelection in 2010 under the Liberal Party. Moreno, who was Lim's running mate in 2010, joined PMP in May 2012. Estrada had not confirmed his intention to run against Lim but he had already begun criticizing Lim about the state of Manila. He said that in the past 20 years, Manila had been left behind by other cities, including San Juan.

Estrada was elected mayor of Manila in 2013 and reelected in 2016.

Estrada ran for a third and last term as mayor of Manila in 2019. However, he lost to Isko Moreno, who beat him by close to 150,000 votes.


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  • Hoy Tukso, Layuan mo Ako (1980)
  • Okey Lang Basta't Kapiling Kita (1979)
  • Mamang Sorbetero (1979)
  • Warrant of Arrest (1979)
  • Magkaaway (1978)
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  • Hit and Run (1975)
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  • Manila Connection (1974)
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  • Kill the Pushers (1972)
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  • Dos Por Dos (1968)
  • Galo Gimbal (1968)
  • Jakiri Valiente (1968)  
  • Kid Brother (1968)
  • Killer Patrol (1968)
  • Quintin Salazar (1968)
  • Rancho Diablo (1968)
  • Suntok o Karate (1968)
  • Tatak: Double Cross (1968)
  • Tatlong Hari (1968)
  • Valiente Brothers (1968)
  • Alex Big Shot (1967)
  • Angkan ng Haragan (1967)
  • Boy Aguila (1967)
  • Ako'y Magbabalik (1966)
  • Badong Baldado (1966)
  • Bantay Salakay (1966)
  • Batang Iwahig (1966)
  • Bodyguard (1966)
  • Dodong Tricycle (1966)
  • Ito ang Pilipino (1966)
  • John Doe (1966)
  • Soliman Brothers (1966)
  • Stowaway (1966)
  • Totoy Bingi (1966)
  • Batang Angustia (1965)
  • Big Boss (1965)
  • Buhay sa Buhay (1965)
  • Deadly Pinoy (1965)
  • Hahamakin ang Lahat (1965)
  • Hamon sa Bandila (1965)
  • Jose Nazareno, Ang Taxi Driver (1965)
  • Labanang Lalake (1965)
  • Maskulado (1965)
  • Paalam sa Kahapon (1965)
  • Pepeng Pingas (1965)  
  • Sa kamay ng mga Kilabot (1965)
  • Salonga Brothers (1965)
  • Sapang Palay (1965)
  • Valentin Galit (1965)
  • Garuda, Flight to Fury (1964)
  • Ako ang Papatay (1964)
  • Berdugo ng Mga Maton (1964)
  • Cordillera (1964)
  • Mga Daliring Ginto (1964)
  • Deadly Brothers (1964)
  • Encuentro (1964/II)
  • Geron Busabos, Ang Batang Quiapo (1964)  
  • Pambato (1964)
  • Panginoon ng Pantalan (1964)
  • Siyam na Buhay ni Martin Pusa (1964)  
  • Takot Mabuhay, Takot Mamatay (1964)
  • Vendetta Brothers (1964)
  • Barilan sa Pugad Lawin (1963)
  • Basagulero (1963)
  • Ginoong Itim (1963)
  • Istambay (1963)
  • Ito ang Maynila (1963)
  • Kilabot sa Daang Bakal (1963)
  • Kung Hindi ka Susuko (1963)
  • Los Paliqueros (1963)
  • Patapon (1963)
  • Pulong Diablo (1963)
  • Sugapa (1963)
  • Talahib (1963)
  • Tres Kantos (1963)
  • Via Europa (1963)
  • Asiong Meets Alembong (1962)
  • Digmaan Ng Mga Maton (1962)
  • Hari ng mga Maton (1962)
  • Kapit sa Patalim (1962)
  • Markang Rehas (1962)
  • Tondo Boy (1962)
  • Asiong Salonga (1961)
  • Baril sa Baril (1961)
  • Moises Padilla Story (1961)
  • Nag-uumpugang Bato (1961)
  • Pantalan ng Trece (1961)
  • Sa baril mag-uusap (1961)
  • Cuatro Cantos (1960)
  • True Confessions (1960)
  • Sumpa at Pangako (1959)
  • Batas ng Puso (1958)
  • Mga Liham kay Tiya Dely (1958)  
  • Lo'Waist Gang (1958)
  • Matandang Tinale (1958)
  • Kandilang Bakal (1957)
  • Sampung Libong Pisong Pag-ibig (1957)  
  • Kandelerong Pilak (1956)  

Awards and Recognition

1975 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actor for Diligin mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa

1962 FAMAS Best Actor for Markang Rehas

1964 FAMAS Best Actor for Geron Busabos

1965 FAMAS Best Actor for Ang Batang Quiapo

1966 FAMAS Best Actor for Ito ang Pilipino

1969 FAMAS Best Actor for Patria Adorada

1971 Outstanding Mayor and foremost Nationalist by the Inter-Provincial Information Service

1972 One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in Public Administration by the Philippine Jaycees

1981 FAMAS Best Actor for Kumander Alibasbas

1981 FAMAS Hall of Fame

2007 Most Outstanding Citizen of San Juan

2014 GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards Government Service Award


  • Doronila, Armando. The Fall of Joseph Estrada. Anvil Publishing, Inc. and Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. 2001.
  • Sheila Coronel. EDSA 2: A Nation in Revolt. Anvil Publishing, Inc. 2001

Eternal links




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