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9 years after ouster, Erap back in Malacañang

Almost exactly nine years after he was forced to step down from the presidency, deposed leader Joseph Estrada on Tuesday entered Malacañang’s gates for the first time. Estrada, who is seeking to have another shot at the presidency in the May polls, went to the Palace to attend the National Security Council meeting where peace and order issues for the upcoming automated elections will be discussed.
"I would say that I am glad I was invited to give few of my advice to help solve some of our pressing problems especially regarding peace and order," Estrada told reporters in a chance interview before the meeting. Asked if he felt he would be back in Malacañang this year as the new president, he replied: "That’s destiny." Former President Fidel Ramos was also invited but his spokesperson - Ed Malay - said the former chief executive could not attend the NSC meeting. [See: Estrada to return to Malacañang Tuesday] Estrada stepped down from power in January 2001 at the height of the second People Power Revolution in EDSA.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita accompanies former President Joseph Estrada, who returned to Malacañang for the first time since his ouster nine years ago. Estrada tells reporters that it's up to "destiny" if he will have another shot at the presidency. Photo from the Twitter account of Margaux Salcedo, Estrada's spokesperson
On Jan. 16, 2001, Filipinos started converging at the EDSA Shrine after Estrada’s allies at the Senate voted not to open a controversial envelope containing information on Estrada’s alleged illegal wealth. On Jan. 19, the Armed Forces leadership withdrew its support from Estrada. Shortly after, the National Police leadership also did the same, leaving Estrada no choice but to resign from power. On January 20, then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took oath as the 14th President of the Philippines. She was elected in the 2004 elections, which her critics describe as tainted with fraud. That same day, Estrada left Malacañang. In September 2007, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan convicted Estrada of plunder, but President Arroyo pardoned him a month later. - with Sophia Dedace/RSJ, GMANews.TV