Born on April 19, 1937, in Tondo, Manila Joseph Ejercito grew
up in San Juan, Rizal. He studied at the Ateneo de Manila University
and the Mapua Institute of Technology. He became a movie actor in his
early twenties, adopting the name Estrada, and has since established
himself as a living legend in local filmdom. He is a five-time awardee
for Best Actor and repeated the feat by winning the Best Picture for an
equal number of times.
He entered politics in 1967, was elected mayor of the
Municipality of San Juan which he served for more than 16 continuous
years, stepping down in the aftermath of the EDSA Revolution in 1986.
He established in the movie industry the MOWELFUND which provides movie
industry workers with financial and professional assistance.
He was elected Senator in 1987 and was appointed Chairman of
three committees (Committees on Cultural Communities, Rural
Development, and Public Works). He was one of the 12 Senators who voted
for the termination of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement. He was elected
Vice President of the Philippines in 1992, and opted to cooperate with
President Fidel V. Ramos by serving as Chairman of the Presidential
Anti-Crime Commission (PACC). He resigned as PACC Chairman in June
1997. In the May 1998 elections he ran for President against nine other
candidates and won with 10,722, 295 votes as against 4,268, 483 votes
for the second placer. Inaugurated on June 30, 1998, his administration
was plagued by scandals. Accused of betrayal of the public trust,
culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery and graft and
corruption, he was being tried by the Senate when he was ousted by
“people power” in January 2001. He was subsequently accused in court of
plunder and is presently being tried by the Sandiganbayan. In spite of
his difficulties with the law, he still has a large following of loyal
supporters who implicitly trust and repose their faith in him.
Joseph Estrada is married to Dr. Luisa “Loi” Pimentel by whom
he has three children. His eldest son is currently Mayor of San Juan.
President Estrada has also officially recognized seven other children,
born out of wedlock.