106th blog of parasapinga on erap presidency

Josephestradapentagon.jpg
13th President of the Philippines
June 30, 1998 – January 20, 2001

 si erap na ipinanganak noong april 19, 1937 sa tundo ang pumalit kay Fidel at si Gloria naman ang pumalit sa kanya sa halip na si Poe na nadaya raw po.  

napagitnaan siya ng mga magkukutsabang presidenteng sina cory, fidel, gloria at ni binoy na gumamit kay tsabit na nagsabit kay erap para bumagsak.  

sa kasalukuyan, meyor si erap ng maynila, pinalitan niya ang intsik na si freddie na naging meyor dahil bumalimbing noon  kay gloria …

ganyan din ang ginawa ni freddie na naging senador ng bumalimbing pabor kay cory laban kay makoy  noon …  

malakas ang kontrol at kapit ng grupo nina cory, fidel, gloria, noynoy, tsabit at freddie sa simbahang katoliko, pulitika, media na taga-gawa ng yellow propaganda, at mga mapagsamantalang intsik at dayuhan, kaya malamang-lamang sila ulit ang pipili kung sino ang papalit na presidente at mga meyor sa susunod na panahon … 

Joseph Estrada‘s presidency spanned for 31 months from June 30, 1998 to January 20, 2001 when he was elected President of the Republic on the May 11, 1998 national elections.

Almost 11-million Filipinos writing his name on the ballot, his margin of victory was the biggest ever registered in Philippine electoral history.

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.

Until January 20, 2001, he did not sign a single government contract with a sovereign guarantee.

He ordered the immediate relief of corrupt officials in the military and police hierarchy and 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 that 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 of erap, 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 Gloria,  the second highest official of the land and her husband who is an Arroyo from the Tuason clan, working secretly with a covert masterminding group courted the military sector’s support headed by former presidents to oust erap.

Cory and Fidel with the catholic church and the media in tow, things came to a head on 20 January 2001 with the ouster of or leave of absence filed by Joseph Estrada and his temporary departure from Malacañang.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the legality of the Gloria presidency,  Erap 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.

The inauguration of Erap presidency on June 30, 1998, featured in the Philippine piso centennial commemorative legal tender banknote,  in the historical town of Malolos in Bulacan province paid tribute to the cradle of the First Philippine Republic.
That afternoon the new president delivered his inaugural address at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta.  In 2000 he declared an “all-out-war” against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and captured its headquarters and other camps.
However, allegations of corruption spawned an impeachment trial in the senate, and in 2001 Estrada was ousted from power after the trial was aborted.
During his term, Estrada ordered to the National Telecommunications Commission by the adoption of Filipino language-based radio format known as masa.

Named for his icon Masa (or Masses), all radio stations adopted the masa format effective since 1998, as DJ’s wanted to replace English language-based stations immediately to air OPM songs and requests.

After his term in 2001, several FM stations adopted the masa format nationwide until this day.With the purpose of investigating the alleged anomalies of the Ramos administration,

President Erap created the “Saguisag Commission” headed by former Senator Rene Saguisag.  Fidel, however, refused to appear before the commission for he argued that the jurisdiction lies in the court. In the so-called Centennial Expo scam,

Fidel claimed the Senate committee that conducted the probe “never closed the case” because it did not issue any final report.

Instead, he rued former president erap who created an administrative fact-finding commission headed by former Senator Rene Saguisag.

But six former government officials during his administration who were implicated in the Centennial Expo scam were subsequently “exonerated” by the Ombudsman in October 1998.

Former Vice President Laurel, who chaired the Centennial Expo and was among the principal accused in this case, however, died before he could be exonerated, Mr. Ramos rued.

In the Smoky Mountain case, he said, he appeared in 2000 before the public hearing of the House committee on good government chaired by then Rep. Ed Lara whose panel cleared the project as valid and legal.

Subsequently, he said, the Supreme Court ruled 13-0, with 2 abstentions, in favor of the project.

The SC also upheld the legality and constitutionality of the project and dismissed the petition filed against it by senator mirriam.

The Erap 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 Erap launched the Magkabalikat Para sa Kaunlarang Agraryo or MAGKASAKA. The DAR forged into joint ventures with private investors into agrarian sector to make FBs competitive.

In 1999 a huge fund was allocated to agricultural programs, one of which is the “Agrikulturang Maka Masa”, through which it achieved an output growth of 6 percent, a record high at the time, thereby lowering the inflation rate from 11 percent in January 1999 to just a little over 3 percent by November of the same year.

In 1998, by virtue of Executive Order No.8, President Erap created the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) with the objective of minimizing, if not totally eradicating, car theft and worsening kidnapping cases in the country.

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.  Lacson was its first head.

He also created the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC) in 1999, with the objective of formulating and implementing a concerted of action of all law enforcement, intelligence and other government agencies for the prevention and control of transnational crime.

However in November 2000, during the Juetenggate scandal, high officials of the PAOCTF – Cesar Mancao, Michael Ray Aquino, Glen Dumlao, and PAOCTF chief Panfilo Lacson – were implicated in the murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito at the Cavite province.

Dacer at that time was accused to be behind a black propaganda against President Estrada – a charge Dacer denied.

The death penalty law in the Philippines was reinforced during the incumbency of  Fidel.

This law provided the use of the electric chair until the gas chamber (method chosen by government to replace electrocution) could be installed. however, the first execution by injection took place under Erap’s administration.

On February 5, 1999, Leo Echegaray, a house painter, was executed for repeatedly raping his stepdaughter. He was the first convict to be executed since the re-imposition of death penalty in 1995.

His execution sparked once again a heated debate between the anti and the pro-death penalty forces in the Philippines with a huge majority of people calling for the execution of Echegaray.

That there was a strong clamor for the imposition of the death penalty should be viewed from the point of view of a citizen who is desperately seeking ways to stop criminality.

Six years after its re imposition, more than 1,200 individuals have been sentenced to death and seven convicts have been executed through lethal injection.

From February 6, 1999, a day after Leo Echegaray was executed, to May 31, 1999 two leading newspapers reported a total of 163 crimes which could be punishable by death penalty.

Because the Philippines is predominantly Catholic, Erap called a moratorium in 2000 to honor the bimillenial anniversary of Jesus’ birth. Executions were resumed a year later.

Erap 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.

During the Erap administration, the practice in use since the Commonwealth, of reproducing the signature of the President of the Philippines over the legend “President of the Philippines” was abandoned in favor of explicitly stating the president’s name.

Under Erap, there was a similar attempt to change the 1987 constitution. The process is termed as CONCORD or Constitutional Correction for Development.

Unlike Charter change under Fidel and Gloria,  the CONCORD proposal according to its proponents would only amend the ‘restrictive’ economic provisions of the constitution that is considered as impeding the entry of more foreign investments in the Philippines.

There were once again objections from opposition politicians, religious sects and left wing organizations based on diverse arguments such as national patrimony and the proposed constitutional changes would be self-serving.

Like his predecessor, Erap’s government was accused of pushing Charter change for their own vested interests.

During the Fidel’s 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 administration of Erap.

However the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), an Islamic group formed in 1977, seeks to be an independent Islamic State from the Philippines, despite the agreements.

A sequence of terrorist attacks with the Philippine military and the civilians still continued with 277 violations committed, kidnapping a foreign priest, namely 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 at Ozamiz City; and the takeover of the Narciso Ramos Highway.

By doing so, they inflicted severe damage on the country’s image abroad, and scared much-needed investments away.

In addition to this, the Philippine government learned that the MILF has links with Al-Qaeda. Because of this, on March 21, 2000, President Joseph Estrada declared an “all-out-war” against the MILF.

During the war the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) asked Erap to have a cease-fire with 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, headquarters of the MILF, fell along with other 13 major camps and 43 minor camps, and then all of which became under controlled by the government.

The MILF leader Hashim Salamat fled the country and went to Malaysia. The MILF later declared a Jihad on the government. On July 10 of the same year, Erap went to Mindanao and raised the Philippine flag symbolizing victory.

After the war the president erap said, “… will speed up government efforts to bring genuine and lasting peace and development in Mindanao”.

In the middle of July, the president ordered the military to arrest top MILF leaders, however, the war with the MILF was severely criticized by foreign and media observers.

In fact, Agriculture Secretary Edgardo Angara bridled at the high cost of Mindanao specifically the diversion of resources from military operations that eat away from the agriculture modernization program.

Angara was quoted as saying “What General Reyes asks, he gets”.

Moreover the fighting in Mindanao even destroyed more than P135 million worth of crops and 12,000 hectares of rice and corn fields.

On July 12, 2000, the late MILF chairman Salamat Hashim called for a jihad against all government forces and installation but few of the Bangsamoro heeded his call.

As the rebels forces broke up into smaller, disorganized units, MILF guerrillas went on a rampage against helpless civilians, killing 21 farmers in Bgy. Sumugot, Bumbaran, Lanao del Sur on July 16, 2001 and another 13 workers of the Maranao Plantation, Inc. in Matling, less than a week later.

With the fall of Camp Abubakar, the conventional warfare against the MILF came to an end and the process of reconstructing and rehabilitating the war-torn areas began.

Erap 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 West Philippine Sea issue through a meeting in March 1999.

Erap strengthened bilateral ties with neighboring countries with visits to VietnamThailandMalaysia,SingaporeHong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.

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.

On 1999 a Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States was ratified in the Senate.

The first Visiting Forces Agreement was actually signed under President Ramos in 1998, and the second was subsequently signed under President Estrada. The two agreements came to effect a year later.

The primary effect of the Agreement is to require the U.S. government:

(1) to notify RP authorities when it becomes aware of the apprehension, arrest or detention of any RP personnel visiting the U.S. and

(2) when so requested by the RP government, to ask the appropriate authorities to waive jurisdiction in favor of RP, except cases of special interest to the U.S. departments of State or Defense.

Waiving of jurisdiction in the U.S. is complicated by United States being a Confederation of States in which each individual state has its own judicial system, and the U.S. Federal Government not being in a position to simply order a State to waive jurisdiction.

The Agreement contains various procedural safeguards which amongst other things establish the right to due process and proscribe double jeopardy.

The agreement also, among other provisions, exempts RP personnel from visa formalities and guarantees expedited entry and exit processing;

requires the U.S. to accept RP driving licenses; allows RP personnel to carry arms at U.S. military installations while on duty; provides personal tax exemptions and import/export duty exclusions for RP personnel;

requires the U.S. to provide health care to RP personnel; and exempts RP vehicles, vessels, and aircraft from landing or ports fees, navigation or overflight charges, road tolls or any other charges for the use of U.S. military installations.

President Estrada hosted the third Informal ASEAN summit at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) from Nov. 24-28, 1999.

The Chief Executive met with the leaders of the nine Asean member-countries and three dialogue partners of the regional grouping, namely China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

The 10 Asean member-countries are Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

The Philippines is the third Asean country to host the Asean Informal Summit.

The first informal summit was held in Jakarta on Nov. 30, 1996 while the second was held in Kuala Lumpur on Dec.15-16, 1997. Myanmar, which joined the Asean only in 1997, was supposed to host the Third Informal Summit but it begged of.

Following the alphabetical order, the Philippines was next in line to host the informal summit.

“Mindful of the challenges and opportunities in the new millennium, as well as the growing regional interdependence in the age of globalization and information, they agreed to promote dialogue and to deepen and consolidate collective efforts with a view to advancing mutual understanding, trust, good neighborliness and friendly relations, peace, stability and prosperity in East Asia and the world”, the joint statement said.

They likewise underlined their commitment to conduct their mutual relations under the principles of the United Nations Charter, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and the universally recognized principles of international law.

After winning the 1998 presidential elections on May of that year, newly elected president Erap issued Administrative Order No. 1 which ordered the removal  of Richard Gordon as Chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority or SBMA. Estrada appointed Felicito Payumo, Gordon’s critic and congressman of Bataan as new chairman.

Gordon refused to step down, stating that his re-appointment from the Fidel administration gave him civil service protection. The removal process was not easy. Hundreds of volunteers and paid people barricated the gates of SBMA and Gordon locked himself inside the SBMA Administrative Office Building 229.

After this, he was dubbed a dictator because of the fact that he rebelled against an executive order. The issue sparked the interest local and foreign press known as the Showdown at Subic.

Gordon filed for a temporary restraining order before the local court. The local court of Olongapo granted Gordon’s request but Payumo’s party filed an appeal before the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA reversed the local court’s ruling and it was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

With the Supreme Court decision, Gordon called Payumo and turned over the reins of SBMA at the Subic Bay Yacht Club two months later on 3 September 1998. Together with the Subic volunteers, they cleaned up the facility.

Erap criticized the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the nation’s most popular broadsheet newspaper, for “bias, malice and fabrication” against him.

In 1999, several government organizations, pro-Erap businesses and movie producers simultaneously pulled their advertisements in the Inquirer.

The presidential palace was widely implicated in the advertising boycott, prompting sharp criticism from international press freedom watchdogs.

Estrada launched a libel suit against the country’s oldest newspaper the Manila Times over a story that alleged corruption in the awarding of a public works project.

After a personal apology from an owner was published, the libel suit was dropped. Within three months the Manila Times was sold to a housing magnate with no previous newspaper experience and was quickly shut down.

BW Resources a small gaming company listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange and linked to people close to Estrada experienced “a meteoric rise” in its stock price due to suspected stock price manipulation.

The ensuing investigation led only to further confusion when the head of the compliance and surveillance group of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and his entire staff resigned  saying “I believe I can no longer effectively do my job.”

The events created a negative impression. “The BW controversy undermined foreign investor confidence in the stock market” and “also contributed to a major loss of confidence in the Philippines among foreign and local investors on concerns that cronyism may have played a part.”

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism has reported that there are 66 corporate records wherein Erap, his wife, mistresses and children are listed as incorporators or board members. Thirty-one of these companies were set up during Estrada’s vice-presidential tenure and one when he assumed the presidency.

Based on the 1998 and 1999 financial statements, 14 of the 66 companies have assets of over P600 million.

The First Lady, Loi Ejercito, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 15 October 1998 her private foundation—the Partnership for the Poor Foundation, Inc. which provides relief and livelihood to the poor.

A few months after its incorporation, the foundation received P100 million from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office as donation. The donation far exceeded the PCSO’s combined donation of P65 million to regular beneficiaries like orphanages and hospitals.

The complainants consider this a conflict-of-interest. The donation of government funds to the private foundation of the First Lady was also found to have been delivered to their legal residence in San Juan.

Erap 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.

Members of the so-called midnight cabinet were:

  • Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson – Governor of Ilocos Sur
  • Luis ‘Baby’ Asistio – Representative of Caloocan City
  • Dante Tan – Head of the BW Resources Corp.
  • Ramon Lee – A close associate of Dante Tan and an Estrada election contributor
  • Lucio Co – The goateed owner of PureGold duty free stores who was recently accused of being a big-time smuggler
  • Jaime Dichavez – A fiberglass manufacturer and real estate developer who was recently involved in the corporate coup at Belle Corporation, operator of the controversial jai-alai games
  • William Gatchalian – Presidential adviser on overseas Filipinos
  • Eusebio Tanco – Acquired the Tiwi-Makiling-Banahaw geothermal power plant from the National Power Corporation. Tanco is the brother-in-law of one of the country’s biggest coconut millers, Douglas Lu Ym
  • Jacinto “Jack” Ng – Multimillionaire, owner of Republic Biscuit Corp. or Rebisco and of some hefty real estate
  • Mark Jimenez – a shadowy businessman wanted for illegal campaign contributions in the U.S. Jimenez is reportedly a mean singer at the karaoke and is an occasional “good time” associate of Estrada

During Erap’s two-and-a-half year in office, the media exposed that he had many affairs with other women.  In time with the juetenggate scandal, Estrada’s critics claimed that Estrada’s mistresses received financial benefits from the President.

The following are Estrada’s mistresses:  Guia Gomez, Laarni Enriquez, Joy Melendres, Rowena Lopez, Peachy Osorio and a few others.

Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo II (Valenzuela) exposes the assignment of Erap of some seized luxury vehicles and SUVs to his Cabinet Secretaries and favored political allies through an obscure office “Presidential Retrieval Task Force.”

Initially Erap resist his critics of the call to return the “hot cars” to the Bureau of Customs, and challenged them to file a case against him. But, by November, the President backs down from his earlier decision and instructs the Customs to dispose the vehicles through an auction.

October 2000, Singson alleged that he gave President Joseph Estrada Php 400 million as payoff from illegal gambling profits. On October 16, 2000, he accused the Estrada, as the “lord of all jueteng lords” for receiving 5 million pesos protection money from jueteng every month during his term of presidency.

Salvador “Bubby” Dacer, publicist in the Philippines, and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, were abducted in Makati, the business district of Manila. They were later killed, and their vehicle dumped.

In 2001, a number of arrests were made. The ultimate reasons for Dacer’s murder remain a subject of debate.

Fidel has publicly accused his successor, Erap, of giving the original order — Erap was mired in a corruption scandal at the time, and according to some reports, Erap believed Dacer was helping Fidel destabilize his rule.

On January 17, 2001, the impeachment trial of Erap moved to the investigation of an envelope containing supposedly crucial evidence that would prove acts of political corruptionSenators allied with Erap moved to block the evidence.

The conflict between the senator-judges, and the prosecution became deeper, but then Senate Majority Floor Leader Francisco Tatad requested to the Impeachment court to make a vote for opening the second envelope.

The vote resulted in 10 senators in favor of examining the evidence, and 11 senators in favor of suppressing it. After the vote, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. resigned as Senate President and walked out of the impeachment proceedings together with the 9 opposition Senators and 11 prosecutors in the Erap’s impeachment trial.

The 11 administration senators who voted YES to block the opening of the second envelope remained in Senate Session Hall together with the members of the defense. They were chanted with “JOE’S COHORTS” where their surnames were arranged like in a yellow propaganda.

Singson’s allegation caused an uproar across the nation, which culminated in Erap’s impeachment by the House of Representatives on November 13, 2000, which of course did not succeed.

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.

Major television networks pre-empted their afternoon schedules to bring full coverage of the Impeachment Trial. There were three sets of cameras in the Impeachment Court (normally the Senate Chamber): one from ABS-CBN, one from the GMA Network, and one from NBN (Then, it was PTV, or the People’s Television Network. (used as a pool camera).

However in February 2001, at the initiative of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., the second envelope was opened before the local and foreign media and it contained the document that stated that Jaime Dichavez and not Estrada owned the “Jose Velarde Account”.

Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson was one of the witnesses who testified against Erap. The President and the governor of Ilocos Sur were said to be “partners” in-charge of the operations of illegal gambling in the country.

Governor Singson feared that he would be charged and stripped of power (there have been talks about the governor making a deal with the opposition … he was to help incriminate Erap and he would be compensated for his service), but he was offered immunity by anti-Erap lawmakers.

Singson was then asked to accuse the President of having committed several illegal acts. Vice-President of then Equitable-PCI Bank Clarissa Ocampo testified that she saw erap sign the false name “Jose Velarde” on the banking document and this was also witnessed by Apodicio Laquian.

On January 16, 2001, the impeachment court voted not to open an envelope that was said to contain incriminating evidence against the president. The final vote was 11-10, in favor of keeping the envelope closed.

The prosecution panel  walked out of the Impeachment Court in protest that merited a contempt of court which Davide, intentionally or unintentionally, did not enforce.

The afternoon schedule of television networks covering the Impeachment were pre-empted by the prolongation of the day’s court session due to the issue of this envelope.

The evening telenovelas of networks were pushed back for up to two hours. That night, anti-Erap’s protesters gathered in front of the EDSA Shrine at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, not too far away from the site of the 1986 People Power Revolution that overthrew Ferdinand Marcos.

A political turmoil ensued and the clamor for Erap’s resignation became stronger than ever. In the following days, the number of protesters grew to the hundreds of thousands.

As scripted by the schemers and propagandists,  the Armed Forces of the Philippines basing on 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.

The Supreme Court declared that Erap “constructively resigned” his post and the Chief Justice swore in the constitutional successor, Gloria, as President of the Philippines.

Prior to Erap’s departure from Malacañang, he issued a press release which included:

“…I now leave Malacañang Palace, the seat of the presidency of this country, for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation. I leave the Palace of our people with gratitude for the opportunities given to me for service to our people…”

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”.

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