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The Second EDSA Revolution (EDSA II) was a four-day political protest

from January 17–20, 2001 that peacefully overthrew the government

of Joseph Estrada, the thirteenth President of the Philippines. Estrada
was succeeded by his Vice-President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who
was sworn into office by then-Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. at around
noon on January 20, 2001, several hours before Estrada
fled Malacañang Palace. EDSA is an acronym derived from Epifanio de
los Santos Avenue, the major thoroughfare connecting five cities
in Metro Manila, namely Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City,
and Caloocan, with the revolution's epicentre at the EDSA
Shrine church at the northern tip of Ortigas Center, a business district.
Advocates described EDSA II as "popular" but critics view the uprising
as a conspiracy among political and business elites, military top brass
and Catholic Cardinal Jaime Sin. International reaction to the revolt was
mixed, with some foreign nations including the United States
immediately recognising the legitimacy of Arroyo's presidency, and
foreign commentators describing it as "a defeat for due process of law",
"mob rule", and a "de facto coup".
The only means of legitimizing the event was the last-minute Supreme
Court ruling that "the welfare of the people is the supreme law." But by
then, the Armed Forces of the Philippines had already withdrawn
support for the president, which some analysts called unconstitutional,
and most foreign political analysts agreeing with this assessment.
William Overholt, a Hong Kong-based political economist said that "It is
either being called mob rule or mob rule as a cover for a well-planned
coup, ... but either way, it's not democracy." It should also be noted
that opinion was divided during EDSA II about whether Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo as the incumbent Vice President should be President
if Joseph Estrada was ousted; many groups who participated in EDSA II
expressly stated that they did not want Arroyo for president either, and
some of them would later participate in EDSA III. The prevailing
Constitution of the Philippines calls for the Vice President of the
Philippines, Arroyo at the time, to act as interim president only when
the sitting President dies, resigns, or becomes incapacitated, none of
which occurred during EDSA II.
On October 4, 2000, Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson, a
longtime friend of President Joseph Estrada, went public with
accusations that Estrada, his family and friends received millions
of pesos from operations of the illegal numbers game, jueteng.
The exposé immediately ignited reactions of rage. The next day, Senate
Minority Leader Teofisto Guingona, Jr. delivered a fiery privilege speech
accusing Estrada of receiving P220 million in jueteng money from
Governor Singson from November 1998 to August 2000, as well as
taking P70 million on excise tax on cigarettes intended for Ilocos Sur.
The privilege speech was referred by Senate President Franklin Drilon,
to the Blue Ribbon Committee and the Committee on Justice for joint
investigation. Another committee in the House of
Representatives decided to investigate the exposé, while other house
members spearheaded a move to impeach the president.
More calls for resignation came from Manila Cardinal Archbishop Jaime
Sin, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, former
Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos, and Vice President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo (who had resigned her cabinet position of Secretary
of the Department of Social Welfare and Development). Cardinal Sin
stated in a statement "In the light of the scandals that besmirched the
image of presidency, in the last two years, we stand by our conviction
that he has lost the moral authority to govern." More resignations
came from Estrada's cabinet and economic advisers, and other
members of congress defected from his ruling party.
On November 13, 2000, the House of Representatives led by
Speaker Manuel Villar transmitted the Articles of Impeachment, signed
by 115 representatives, to the Senate. This caused shakeups in the
leadership of both houses of congress. The impeachment trial was
formally opened on November 20, with twenty-one senators taking
their oaths as judges, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide,
Jr. presiding. The trial began on December 7.
The day-to-day trial was covered on live Philippine television and
received the highest viewing rating at the time. Among the highlights of
the trial was the testimony of Clarissa Ocampo, senior vice president
of Equitable PCI Bank, who testified that she was one foot away from
Estrada when he signed the name "Jose Velarde" documents involving a
P500 million investment agreement with their bank in February 2000.
EDSA People Power II, as it came to be known, was a series of protests
held from January 16 to 20, 2001, against former president Joseph
Estrada who was then facing plunder charges. The protests eventually
triggered Estrada's downfall – and paved the way for Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo, his vice president, to enter the spotlight in the political scene.

But Arroyo would later face her own share of troubles during her
administration. Both former presidents seemed to follow the same
track in politics: they were both vice presidents before assuming the
highest seat of the land, and both have been accused of criminal
offenses. Despite these, Estrada and Arroyo have managed to retain
positions in government today.

Rappler looks back at the two former presidents' rise, fall, and
resurgence in politics

EDSA II: Estrada's downfall, Arroyo’s rise

In 1998, Estrada – a popular actor-turned-politician – won the

presidential race with his slogan, “Erap para sa mahirap” (Erap for the
poor). His political troubles started shortly two years later, when then
Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson, his longtime friend, went public
with accusations that Estrada and his cronies received millions of pesos
from illegal operations of jueteng.

During Estrada's impeachment trial, senator-judges had to decide on

whether or not to open an envelope supposed to contain strong
evidence linking Estrada to over a billion pesos in deposits under the
name "Jose Velarde".
Ten voted "yes" while 11 said "no" – a decision that prompted Aquilino
"Nene" Pimentel Jr to resign as Senate President and walk out of the
hall, joined by 9 other senators.

This dramatic scene was the final trigger that sent Filipinos to EDSA on
January 16, 2001. Throughout the first night of the rally, people began
to swarm around the historical EDSA Shrine to express their
sentiments. More Filipinos, including students, activists and
personalities in the music industry, joined in the next days, while the
Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines
withdrew their support from the president.

On the last day of the protest, January 20, Arroyo took her oath in the
presence of clamoring crowds on EDSA as the 14th president of the
Republic of the Philippines. Estrada released a letter about Arroyo’s
proclamation, saying he had strong doubts about the legality and
constitutionality of her proclamation as president. However, he said he
would step down to allow national reconciliation.

Estrada left Malacañang Palace together with his family in the same
year. He was convicted of plunder in September 2007.

Corruption allegations

When he was president, Estrada allegedly received P10 million

monthly from November 1998 to August 2000 from jueteng lords as
protection money. He was also accused of bagging a P130-million
kickback from the P200 million released by then budget secretary
Benjamin Diokno for tobacco farmers. He also allegedly received P100
million as “donation” from government funds allegedly given by a
private organization run by Estrada’s wife.
Aside from kickbacks, he reportedly ordered 52 impounded luxury
vehicles from the Bureau of Customs commissioner to give to his
Cabinet members and other officials.

Arroyo, on the other hand, was also charged with plunder over the
alleged misuse of P366 million from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes
Office intelligence funds from 2008 to 2010.

Impeachment complaints

Before EDSA II, then Senate president Franklin Drilon referred

arguments on Estrada’s corruption allegations to the Senate's Blue
Ribbon Committee and the Committee on Justice for joint investigation.
Another committee in the House of Representatives investigated the
case, while other members of the House wanted the president’s

More political figures suggested Estrada’s resignation, including then

Manila Cardinal archbishop Jaime Sin and former presidents Corazon
Aquino and Fidel Ramos. Then vice president Arroyo, meanwhile,
resigned from her Cabinet position as social welfare secretary to signify
her protest.

In November 2000, the House of Representatives led by Speaker

Manuel Villar transferred the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.
The impeachment trial formally began in the same month, with then
Supreme Court chief justice Hillario Davide Jr presiding over 21 senators
sitting as judges.
Estrada faced the impeachment trial with allegations of bribery, graft
and corruption, betrayal of public trust, and culpable violation of the

During her own term, Arroyo faced multiple impeachment

attempts over the NBN-ZTE deal, human rights violations, the Northrail
project, the Mt Diwalwal project, fertilizer fund scam, alleged bribery of
members of Congress, and electoral fraud in the 2004 elections, better
known as the "Hello Garci" controversy.

Arroyo’s grounds for impeachment were much the same as Estrada's,

including betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution,
bribery, graft and corruption, and other high crimes.


Six weeks after Estrada was found guilty and sentenced to reclusion
perpetua, Arroyo granted him presidential pardon in 2007.

In 2016, Arroyo also got her acquittal from the Supreme Court with an
11-4 vote, shortly after Benigno Aquino III, her successor and one of her
critics, completed his term.

Back on the scene

Perhaps adopting the same attitude as the popular protagonists he

portrayed in films, Estrada's fall was only the prelude to his resurgence
in politics. Barely 9 years after his dramatic ouster, he announced his
bid for the presidency to regain what he said was “stolen from him.”
He also shunned all allegations that led to his plunder conviction,
insisting that he never stole a single peso of the country’s money.

Estrada, however, lost the presidential race to Benigno Aquino III by

over 5 million votes.

Three years later, Estrada still managed to secure a political slot. He

first won as Manila city mayor in 2013, beating rival Alfredo Lim, who
had served as mayor of the city for 12 years. Estrada won over Lim by
30,000 votes.

In 2016, Estrada won his second straight term as Manila mayor – also
against Lim – by a reduced margin of over 2,000 votes.

Arroyo, meanwhile, won a seat in Congress in 2010 to represent the

2nd district of Pampanga. She was reelected in 2013, amid a new
plunder case and her deteriorating health. She is now on her third term
as Pampanga representative, and is one of the 13 deputy speakers of
the House of Representatives