Presidency of Joseph Estrada

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Presidency of Joseph Ejercito Estrada
Josephestradapentagon.jpg
13th President of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 1998 – January 20, 2001
Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Preceded by Fidel Ramos
Succeeded by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Personal details
Born (1937-04-19) April 19, 1937 (age 77)
Tondo, Philippines
Political party PMP (1991–)
Other political
affiliations
Nacionalista (1969–1987)
Liberal Party (1987–1991)
Spouse(s) Loi Pimentel
Alma mater Mapúa Institute of Technology
Profession Actor
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature
Website Official website
Archived Office of the President

The Presidency of Joseph Ejercito Estrada spanned for 31 months from June 30, 1998 to January 20, 2001. Estrada reached the pinnacle of his political career when he was elected President of the Republic in the May 11, 1998 national elections. With almost 11-million Filipinos writing his name on the ballot, his margin of victory was the biggest ever registered in Philippine electoral history. Speaking before millions gathered at his inaugural address in Manila, the newly elected chief executive said his presidency would serve the Filipino masses whose welfare had long been neglected. A line from his speech, "Walang kaibigan, walang kumpare, walang kamag-anak", was a stern warning against anyone who would attempt to undermine his administration with influence-peddling. Determined to bring his pro-poor platform to every facet of the government's operations, he immediately ordered the removal of all sovereign guarantees on contracts for public projects which would require the sovereign Filipino people to assume the financial losses of private companies doing business with the government. Records will show that until January 20, 2001, he did not sign a single government contract with a sovereign guarantee. Committed to cleaning the bureaucracy of undesirable elements, he ordered the immediate relief of corrupt officials in the military and police hierarchy. He ordered a wide-ranging investigation of all government contracts entered into by the previous administration to ensure these were above-board and directly advantageous to the citizenry. He ordered the investigation of suspected big-time tax evaders even if some of these individuals had contributed to his presidential campaign. His pro-poor program of government bore fruit in less than two years, with a significant improvement in the country's peace and order situation. This likewise elicited a proportionate rise in the approval rating of the Philippine National Police. The Estrada administration undertook an aggressive housing program on a national basis, targeting low-cost homes for the poor. Agriculture received greater priority, while the national government likewise took steps to bring down the cost of medicine. Foreign investments grew exponentially, benefiting greatly from the unsullied and esteemed reputation of the best and the brightest chosen to be part of his Cabinet, and even more from his reputation as a strongly nationalistic yet progressive president.

The Senate impeachment trial, a constitutional process initiated to determine the truth behind the allegations of corruption hurled by the false witness, ended abruptly in mid-January 2001 when prosecutors staged a walk-out after senators voted against the opening of a document which had no bearing whatsoever on the cases filed before the tribunal. With the second highest official of the land and her husband working secretly with this group and courting the military sector's support, things came to a head on 20 January 2001 with the leave of absence filed by Joseph Estrada and his temporary departure from Malacañang. Following the Supreme Court's decision upholding the legality of the Macapagal-Arroyo presidency, he was arrested at his San Juan home in the afternoon of April 25, 2001 on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by the Sandiganbayan for the crime of plunder filed by his political enemies.

Overview[edit]

The inauguration of President Estrada on June 30, 1998, featured in the Philippine piso centennial commemorative legal tender banknote.

Estrada was inaugurated on June 30, 1998 in the historical town of Malolos in Bulacan province in paying tribute to the cradle of the First Philippine Republic. That afternoon the new president delivered his inaugural address at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta. He assumed office amid the Asian Financial Crisis and with agricultural problems due to poor weather conditions, thereby slowing the economic growth to -0.6% in 1998 from a 5.2% in 1997.[1] The economy recovered by 3.4% in 1999 and 4% in 2000.[2] In 2000 he declared an "all-out-war" against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and captured its headquarters and other camps.[3][4] However, allegations of corruption spawned an impeachment trial in the Senate, and in 2001 Estrada was ousted from power after the trial was aborted. The unmitigated corruption during his administration would cause him to be charged and convicted for plunder.

In his Inaugural Address, Estrada said:

Major issues of Presidency[edit]