Joseph E. Estrada – Thirteenth President
“Erap jokes,” Fidel V. Ramos (Chairman, Presidential Anti Crime Commission) Previous Positions:
Mayor of San Juan
Senator Vice President of the Philippines
June 30, 1992-June 30, 1998 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. In October 2000, an acknowledged gambling racketeer, Luis “Chavit” Singson, governor of the province of Ilocos Sur, alleged that he had personally given Estrada the sum of 400 million pesos ($8,255,933) as payoff from illegal gambling profits, as well as 180 million pesos ($3,715,170) from the government price subsidy for the tobacco farmers’ marketing cooperative. Singson’s allegation caused an uproar across the nation, which culminated in Estrada’s impeachment by the House of Representatives in November 13, 2000.
The articles of impeachment were then transmitted to the Senate and an impeachment court was formed, with Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. as presiding officer. He was peacefully overthrown by the Second People Power Revolution after his aborted impeachment trial in the Senate, where eleven Philippine senators refused to examine the second envelope of the Jose Velarde bank account that would supposedly prove acts of political corruption. On April 4, 2001, the trial of Estrada began as Ombudsman Aniano Desierto filed before the Sandiganbayan, a Philippine anti-graft court, a PHP 4-billion plunder suit and a minor perjury charge for falsely declaring his assets and illegally using the Jose Velarde alias. On September 12, 2007, he became the first Philippine President to be convicted of a crime after the Sandiganbayan found him guilty of plunder, which is punishable by reclusion perpetua. He was detained in his Tanay, Rizal resthouse but then pardoned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on October 25, 2007. He is reputedly considering running for the presidential election in 2010.