Latest Stories

Estrada to call it quits after May poll run


Six decades after he burst into the movies and 46 years after he won a mayoral fight in San Juan City, Joseph Estrada—believe it or not—is making what he calls his “last hurrah” in politics.

That was how the former president on Sunday described his decision to run for mayor of Manila in the May 13 national elections, all but shutting the door on another possible political run three years from now.

“This is my last hurrah. No more, no way,” Estrada said in a phone interview amid speculation that he still might hanker for a grand ending to his political career by again running for president in 2016.

“I believe that public service has no boundaries,” he said. “I promised to serve the masses until the last breathe of my life and I can serve them even if I am just a barangay captain.”

The interview coincided with the anniversary of Estrada’s removal from power on Jan. 20, 2001, at the height of street protests, which occurred during his impeachment trial on corruption charges.


Back to the people

Three months shy of 76, Estrada is now one of the pillars of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), an opposition coalition which has touted Vice President Jejomar Binay as its presidential bet for 2016.

Born on April 19, 1937, Estrada was 17 years old when he starred in his first major film, “Kandelerong Pilak,” under LVN pictures. Thirteen years later, he forayed into politics, winning the mayoralty race in San Juan at the age of 30. He topped this by winning the presidency in 1998.

A native of Tondo, he is now running for mayor in the city where he was born.

“Studies have shown that the highest rate of poverty in Manila is in Tondo and I plan to change (that),” Estrada said. “It’s time to give back to the people who stayed behind me.”


‘A terrible mistake’

Estrada said he felt “vindicated” since President Benigno Aquino III took power in 2010 because former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who took over the presidency after his downfall, was herself now in detention.

He claimed his appeal to the masses had been validated by his strong showing in the 2010 presidential election, when he finished runnerup to Mr. Aquino.

He pointed out that while almost everybody celebrates the anniversary of the first Edsa People Power revolution every February, “nobody comes out in the street for Edsa Dos, probably because they are ashamed about participating in what has turned out to be a terrible mistake.”

He was referring to the 2001 popular uprising that brought him down and swept Arroyo into power.


Lost decade

“It’s poetic justice,” Estrada said of the “jailing” of Arroyo.

Arroyo, currently a Pampanga representative, is under hospital arrest. She has been accused of electoral sabotage in the 2004 elections, illegal diversion of charity funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and taking bribes in the aborted $329-million National Broadband Network-ZTE Corp. deal.

“Let the courts decide her fate,” he said. “I never regretted stepping down from office to avoid bloodshed in the street. It was an expensive lesson not only for me but for the masses…. It was a lost decade.”

“The only benefit I received during that time was I became closer to God,” added Estrada, who has fathered several children outside marriage.

Loyal through the years

Estrada said he felt proud that the masses had not abandoned him.

“The people who believed me when I started out in politics despite criticisms that I was ‘bakya’ (unlettered) have remained loyal through all my trials,” he said.

Referring to President Aquino, Estrada said in a statement: “I must give credit where it is due and applaud P-Noy. His father fought for our freedom, his mother fought for our democracy and now he has fought for justice for the Filipino people.”

“P-Noy continued the fight of his mother against corruption and took this a step further and put GMA behind bars.” With Inquirer Research

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 midterm elections , Joseph Estrada , Manila , Mayor of Manila , Philippine politics , Tondo

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Cagayan mayor shot dead after flag-raising ceremony
  3. Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  6. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  7. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  8. Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  9. New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  10. More bodies from ship; transcript reveals wavering
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  • Group: Bataan cop killed to stop him from exposing colleagues linked to drug ring
  • Chemical Engineer licensure examination
  • Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
  • Palace: Our concern is to ensure MRT runs smoothly
  • Sports

  • NLEX fights off Derulo Accelero to remain unbeaten
  • Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  • Power Pinays rip Singapore to enter quarters in Asian volley tilt
  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Balikatan could spoil peace talks, says militant group
  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Marketplace