Philippine History - Estrada Administration
history | spanish colonization | american
period | world war II and japanese occupation
third republic | marcos
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admin | estrada admin | arroyo
Estrada Administration (1998-2001)
Vice President Joseph Estrada, a former movie actor, was elected to the presidency
with a landslide victory in the 1998 elections, pledging to help the poor and
develop the agricultural sector. Under the cloud of the Asian financial crisis
which began in 1997, Estrada's wayward governance took a heavy toll on the economy.
Unemployment worsened, the budget deficit grew, the currency fell. Eventually,
the economy recovered but at a much slower pace than its Asian neighbors.
In late 1999, Estrada waged an all-out war against the separatist Moro Islamic
Liberation Front in Central Mindanao, which displaced half a million people.
In March 2000, the bandit group Abu Sayyaf kidnapped to Basilan 21 hostages,
including 10 foreign tourists, from the Sipadan Island resort in neighboring
Sabah, Malaysia. They were freed in batches after over $20 million ransom were
reportedly paid by the Libyan government.
In October 2000, Estrada was charged of receiving millions of dollars in illegal
gambling payoffs. He was impeached by the House of Representatives, but his
impeachment trial in the Senate broke down when the senate voted to block examination
of the president's bank records. In response, masses of people protested and
demanded Estrada's resignation. Estrada's cabinet resigned en masse and the
military and police withdrew their support. On January 20, 2001, the Supreme
Court declared the presidency vacant and swore in Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
as the country's fourteenth President.