Erap to be arrested today.
April 24, 2001 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Erap to be arrested today. Filipinos might be interested to know that a warrant of arrest has been issued to deposed Philippine president Joseph Estrada for the non-bailable offense of economic plunder. A few thousand of his supporters have gathered around his residence in the affluent subdivision of North Greenhills, and there have already been untoward incidents. My family lives there; Mom says anti-riot police are roaming the streets.
posted by brownpau (23 comments total)
Damn, Paulo, I was coming over here to post the very same link! :) I hope your family is okay, as North Greenhills looks pretty wild on tv.
posted by lia at 9:22 PM on April 24, 2001

currency conversions!
1 phillipine peso (PHP) = 0.0197824 us dollars (USD)

the 3.6B PHP = 71.2M USD
and the 130M PHP in plundered taxes is only 2.57M USD

this guy's small-time.
posted by dukejohnson at 9:25 PM on April 24, 2001

Oh, is that all? Then let's not bother arresting him; I mean, he stole from the people and all, but since it's so small...

Thanks for your concern, dukejohnson, it means so much. Jeez. This is the first time I've ever felt tired of MeFi.
posted by lia at 9:30 PM on April 24, 2001

i'm glad they're arresting the bastard, but the net has so many holes in it ... it strikes me as a token effort
posted by dukejohnson at 9:52 PM on April 24, 2001

No kidding. 2.57 may not go far wherever you're from, duke, but it's not chump change, especially in a relatively poor country like the Phillippines. GDP per capita in USD,1999:

United States 31,500
85 Phillippines3,500

(It's not MeFi, lia.)
posted by rodii at 9:56 PM on April 24, 2001

The average family makes much much much less than that, actually, which is why the theft is so much more offensive -- that, and the fact that Estrada came from an old rich family, campaigned that he was going to save the poor, and then proceeded to steal them blind from the very start of his administration.

Considering what we went through with Marcos, if all I'm going to get is tokenism anyway, I'm not going to be thrilled, but I'll certainly make the most of it.
posted by lia at 10:04 PM on April 24, 2001

The really annoying thing about this is that a lot of Filipinos, mired in poverty as they are, adore Estrada because he was a popular movie star and he presented himself as a "champion" for the poor masses.

But it was all glizy packaging. The guy is a corrupt, incompetent, womanizing drunkard. He loved living the good life, and he didn't mind ripping off government coffers to fund his lifestyle -- and the high-rolling lifestyles of his mistresses. One of his concubines, Laarni Enriquez, owns a mansion with a HUGE tide pool and imported white sand. The "presidential yacht," Ang Pangulo boasts a grand piano and posh imported upholstery. This while more than 70% of Filipinos are struggling just to feed their families a cup of rice.

When Erap was ousted from the presidency, he complained, very loudly, that it was a case of unconstitutional "mob rule," and that he was still the legal president. Now that he's about to be arrested, he's calling for his [gullible] supporters to defend him. Apparently "mob rule" is only invalid when it's instigated by your political opponents.
posted by brownpau at 10:37 PM on April 24, 2001

currency conversions!
1 phillipine peso (PHP) = 0.0197824 us dollars (USD)

Look at it this way: USD1.00 = Php50.

Before Erap rose to power, it was just USD1.00=Php35. It was his corruption and ineptness which scared off investors and killed our economy. He put his cronies in positions of power, made millions on inside trading in the Philippine Stock Market, and freely stuck his finger in the economic pie.
posted by brownpau at 10:41 PM on April 24, 2001

The sheriff has just entered the house to serve the arrest warrant! I wasn't sure it was even going to happen today, but there you go.
posted by lia at 11:34 PM on April 24, 2001

Ugh, Erap's official statement in reaction to his arrest sickens me. He says he doesn't expect a fair trial, that he's completely innocent, and that this is all just harrassment and a smear campaign against him.

Dumbass loser.
posted by brownpau at 12:10 AM on April 25, 2001

lia has very wisely pointed out to me that Erap's "official statement" which I was griping over was probably just written by a hired speechwriter, and that he most likely didn't even understand what he was reading on TV.

In any case, the warrant has been served, Estrada has been read his rights, herded into a police jeep, and is on his way with his wife and son to a detention cell in a neighboring military camp, where he will be booked, mugshotted, and fingerprinted.

Here's a list of charges against him.
posted by brownpau at 12:22 AM on April 25, 2001

Re:currency conversions

Does a Bumblefuck Mississippi dollar go just as far as an LA dollar bill? Do you really think market trading values reflect social importance and well being?

The Phillipino people have supported the US and the free world at great sacrifice and deserve our thanks and respect.
posted by roboto at 3:48 AM on April 25, 2001

Re: currency conversions

Try living with 118 US $ a month (roughly a minimum wage earner's take home pay) and you'll begin to understand why Erap committed a heinous crime.

It is obscene for the leader of a country, of which 80% of the population lives below the poverty level, to spend 11 million pesos on drapes and then blow 50 million pesos in one mah jong session.
posted by mgatela at 4:10 AM on April 25, 2001

I thought Estrada was the guy out of CHiPs.
posted by leafy at 4:37 AM on April 25, 2001

Ooops, something I forgot to mention (can't imagine why) -- the charges they acted on today aren't the only ones filed against him, and more might be filed. There are documents that say he has around $80 million dollars in one bank account alone; the senate's vote not to examine the envelope in which the documents were contained is what prompted his removal from office (aka EDSA II).
posted by lia at 9:31 AM on April 25, 2001

If it was public knowledge that he was going to be arrested, I don't understand why he was just sitting there waiting for them to come get him. If I were a corrupt public official who had stolen millions, I'd get the hell out of the country, to somewhere with difficult extradition laws, as soon as i heard I was under investigation.
posted by kindall at 11:42 AM on April 25, 2001

But kindall, you'd be a smart corrupt public official. Someone like, say, Alberto Fujimori of Peru.
posted by lagado at 5:23 PM on April 25, 2001

You know what's really depressing? Right now, thousands of pro-Erap supporters, mostly from the poor sectors of society, have gathered at Edsa for another People Power, blocking traffic and calling for civil disobedience and unrest.

They're demanding that their "rightful president" be reinstated. To them, Erap's arrest is just another greedy ploy by the "elitist rich" of the Philippines, and they have no qualms about instigating a class war.

So idiotic. They don't understand he was a criminal, and that he was robbing them blind. They just want their favorite movie star back in power.

Sigh. Madali talagang mauto ang Pinoy.
posted by brownpau at 7:24 PM on April 25, 2001

brownpau: See Barry, Marion in Washington DC
posted by owillis at 7:33 PM on April 25, 2001

But kindall, you'd be a smart corrupt public official.

Why thank you. Maybe I'll fall back on that in future if I find myself unable to get work in the computer field.
posted by kindall at 9:21 PM on April 25, 2001

Poor man's revolution?
posted by brownpau at 7:08 PM on April 26, 2001

Re:Re:currency conversions

i pulled out my ignorance and cynicism and swung it around without caring who i smacked ... i humbly request your forgiveness

:> Madali talagang mauto ang Pinoy.

help us out here ... cuz the babelfish can't
posted by dukejohnson at 6:32 PM on April 27, 2001

So, what's really going on? I heard something about this on the morning news and my first question was; "I wonder what lia has to say?"
posted by Octaviuz at 7:07 AM on May 1, 2001

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