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article imageOusted President Joseph Estrada Bares Plan to Join 2010 Elections

By Leo Reyes     Oct 21, 2009 in Politics
As Philippine election season nears, former Philippine president Joseph Estrada announced his candidacy for president Wednesday in the presence of around 10,000 supporters who gathered to show their support for the popular actor anf former president
Former Philippine president Joseph Estrada bared plans Wednesday to run for president of the Philippines despite persistent warnings from legal circles that he can no longer exercise his political rights due to his conviction for the case of plunder.
Estrada became the country's 13th president when he won the presidency during the 1998 national elections but his term was cut short when he was pressured by people power to step down from office due to allegations of graft and corruption committed by him and his allies while in office. He was ousted less than halfway into his term and replaced by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo his vice president then and constitutional successor.
Philstar.com reports:
Seeking vindication after his ouster from the presidency and conviction for plunder, Joseph Estrada asked Filipinos yesterday to give him a second chance.
“This is the last performance of my life and I will not fail you,” the former president told a cheering crowd in Tondo, Manila, where he announced his plan to run in the 2010 elections, with Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay as his running mate.
Expecting legal challenges to his bid, Estrada said the voice of the people is the voice of God, and voters should be the final judge.
The former president is very popular with the masses of Philippine society, being a movie star and a former local government official. Estrada holds a record of garnering the highest winning margin in history of the Philippine presidential elections.
Legal luminaries in the Philippines say that the former president is no longer eligible to run much less become president of the Philippines. They maintain that Estrada ha been convicted by a Philippine court of law for the crime of plunder.
The constitution of the Philippines provides that no person shall be elected to any government office if he is convicted by final judgement for criminal offense.
Although the former president was given presidential pardon, it appears that there were conditions attached to it including the right to participate in electoral process in the country. Estrada maintained that in the pardon document, it restores his rights of suffrage, citing his participation in recent electoral exercise in the country.
The government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the other hand says that the presidential pardon carries some provisions that prohibits Estrada from seeking and occupying any elective position in government on account of his final conviction for the crime of plunder.
The former president is fielding a complete senatorial slate in his 2010 election campaign including his son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Ilocos Norte Gov. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr., ZTE scandal whistle-blower Joey de Venecia, detained rebel leader Danny Lim, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Ompong Plaza. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is a guest candidate. The remaining slot will be announced soon.
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