FFE Magazine

Joseph Ejercito Estrada

Image from the Presidential Museum & Library

13th President of the Philippines

Term of Office: June 30, 1998 – January 20, 2001

Vice President: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Birth: April 19, 1937

Place: Tondo, Manila

Death: Still Living

Spouse: Luisa Pimentel, MD

Children: Senator Jose Estrada, Jacqueline Estrada, Jude Estrada

Joseph Ejercito Estrada was born on April 19, 1937 in Tondo, Manila. He is the eight of the ten children of Emilio Ejercito and Maria Marcelo. His family later moved to San Juan, Rizal (now part of Metro Manila) where he grew up.

Estrada studied at Ateneo de Manila University. He took up engineering at the Mapua Institute of Technology, on his second year he moved to the Polytechnic College of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Before he could finish engineering he quit school and decided to try the movies.

Displeased with his decision to drop out of college, his parents forbade him to use his family name, which forced him to adopt “Estrada” as a screen name and “Erap” (“pare” or friend spelled backward) as a nickname.

During his movie career, he played the lead role in more than hundred movies and produced more then 70 films. In 1974, he founded the Movie Workers Welfare Fund (MOWELFUND) that provides movie industry workers with financial and professional assistance. He was the first FAMAS Hall of Fame awardee for Best Actor (1981) and also became a Hall of Fame awardee as a Producer(1983).

Estrada entered politics when he ran for mayor of San Juan in 1968. He was only proclaimed mayor in 1969, after he won an electoral protest against Dr. Braulio Sto. Domingo. As mayor (1969-1986), Estrada was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in Public Administration (1972). He was also named Most Outstanding Mayor and Foremost Nationalist (1972), and most outstanding Metro Manila Mayor (1972). He won a seat in the Senate in 1987. At the Senate, he chaired a Committee on Cultural Minorities and Rural Development and co-chaired the committees on Health, Natural Resources and Ecology, and Urban Planning. On September 16, 1991, he voted for the rejection of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Security, which ended the stay of the United States military bases in the Philippines.

He was elected Vice President in 1992. He was appointed chairman of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC).

He was elected President of the Philippines in 1998 but the EDSA II Revolution cut his 6-year term short on January 20, 2001.

He is married to Luisa Pimentel, with whom he has three children.

(By Charles Keng / The Presidents, Republic of the Philippines by Rheno A. Velasco. 1996)

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