Estrada, Joseph Marcelo Ejercito

Estrada, Joseph Marcelo Ejercito, 1937–, Filipino actor and politician, b. Jose Marcelo Ejercito. Under the name Erap Estrada, he became a popular action-film star whose roles often cast him as a hero of the common people and defender of the downtrodden. In all, he acted in more than 100 films and produced about 75. Estrada entered politics in 1968, winning the mayorality of his hometown of San Juan, a Manila suburb, an office he held for 16 years. In 1992, as a member of the National People's Coalition, he was elected vice president of the Philippines. A populist with a large following among the poor, he ran for the presidency in 1998 and won by the largest margin in Filipino history. By 2000, however, he was facing charges of corruption for allegedly accepting millions of dollars in illegal payoffs from gambling syndicates. Estrada was impeached, but his trial in the senate was suspended (Jan., 2001), provoking a national crisis and demonstrations demanding his resignation. Estrada was stripped of his office by the supreme court; Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo succeeded him. Placed under house arrest in 2001, Estrada was convicted of plunder in Sept., 2007, and received a life sentence, but the following month he was pardoned by the president. In 2010 he ran again for the presidency but lost to Benigno Aquino 3d; he was elected mayor of Manila in 2013.

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