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This article is about EDSA II of January 2001. For the EDSA in April 2001, see EDSA III.

2001 EDSA Revolution
File:EDSA 2.jpg
Hundreds of thousands protesters choke the Ortigas Interchange calling for the resignation of President Joseph Estrada.
Date January 17–20, 2001
Location Philippines
Result Estrada and his family leave Malacañan Palace; Arroyo became President
Parties to the civil conflict
  • Estrada loyalists
  • Anti-Estrada civilian protestors
  • Defectors of the Armed Forces of the Philippines[1]
  • Defectors of the Philippine National Police[1]
  • Catholic Church in the Philippines[1]
  • Archdiocese of Manila
  • Militant groups:[1]

    • Estrada Resign Movement
    • Kongreso ng Mamayang Pilipino II
    Makati Business Club[1]
    Lead figures

    The 2001 EDSA Revolution, also known as EDSA II (pronounced "EHD-sa Dos"), was a four-day political protest from 17-20 January 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.[2] 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".[3]

    The only means of legitimizing the event was the last-minute Supreme Court ruling that "the welfare of the people is the supreme law."[4] But by then, the Armed Forces of the Philippines had already withdrawn support for the president, which some analysts called unconstitutional, and most foreign political analysts agreeing with this assessment.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."[3] 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.[5]

    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.[5]

    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."[6] More resignations came from Estrada's cabinet and economic advisers, and other members of congress defected from his ruling party.[5]

    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.[5] 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.[5]

    The day-to-day trial was covered on live Philippine television and received the highest viewing rating at the time.[5] 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.[5]

    Timeline in Edsa 2

    On January 17, 2001, the impeachment trial of President Estrada moved to the investigation of an envelope containing crucial evidence that would allegedly prove acts of political corruption by Estrada. Senators allied with Estrada moved to block the evidence. The conflict between the senator-judges, and the prosecution became deeper, but then Senate Majority Floor Leader Francisco Tatad requested to the Impeachment court to make a vote for opening the second envelope. The vote resulted in 10 senators in favor of examining the evidence, and 11 senators in favor of suppressing it. The list of senators who voted for the second envelope are as follows:

    Voted to examine Voted against examining
    1. Rodolfo Biazon
    2. Renato Cayetano
    3. Franklin Drilon
    4. Juan Flavier
    5. Teofisto Guingona, Jr.
    6. Loren Legarda
    7. Ramon Magsaysay, Jr.
    8. Sergio Osmeña III
    9. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
    10. Raul Roco
    1. Robert Jaworski, Sr.
    2. Blas Ople
    3. Juan Ponce-Enrile
    4. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III
    5. Anna Dominique "Nikki" Coseteng
    6. John Henry Osmeña
    7. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan
    8. Teresa "Tessie" Aquino-Oreta
    9. Ramon Revilla, Sr.
    10. Francisco "Kit" Tatad
    11. Miriam Defensor Santiago

    And,after the vote, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. resigned as Senate President and walked out of the impeachment proceedings together with the 9 opposition Senators and 11 prosecutors in the Estrada impeachment trial. The 11 administration senators who voted YES to block the opening of the second envelope remained in Senate Session Hall together with the members of the defense. The phrase "JOE'S COHORTS" quickly surfaced as a mnemonic device for remembering their names (JOE'S COHORTS: Jaworski, Oreta, Enrile, Santiago, Coseting, Osmena, Honasan, Ople, Revilla, Tatad, Sotto).[7] However in February 2001, at the initiative of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., the second envelope was opened before the local and foreign media and it contained the document that stated that Jaime Dichavez and not Estrada owned the "Jose Velarde Account".[8][9]

    Day 1: Wednesday January 17, 2001

    All 11 prosecutors in the Estrada impeachment trial resigned. Sen. Tessie Aquino-Oreta, one of three senators who voted against opening the envelope (a "NO" vote), was seen on national television; most assumed that she was dancing joyfully as the opposition walked out. This further fuelled the growing anti-Erap sentiments of the crowd gathered at EDSA Shrine, and she became the most vilified of the 11 senators. She was labelled a "prostitute" and a "concubine" of Erap for her dancing act, while Sen. Defensor-Santiago was also ridiculed by the crowd who branded her a "lunatic".

    Day 2: Thursday January 18, 2001

    File:EDSA 2.jpg
    Hundreds of thousands protesters choke the EDSA-Ortigas Ave. intersection calling for the resignation of President Joseph Estrada.

    The crowd continues to grow, bolstered by students from private schools and left-wing organizations. Activists from the group Bayan and Akbayan as well as lawyers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and other bar associations joined in the thousands of protesters.

    Day 3: Friday January 19, 2001

    The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines withdraw their support for Estrada, joining the crowds at the EDSA Shrine.

    At 2:00pm, Joseph Estrada appears on television for the first time since the beginning of the protests and maintains that he will not resign. He says he wants the impeachment trial to continue, stressing that only a guilty verdict will remove him from office.

    At 6:15pm, Estrada again appears on television, calling for a snap presidential election to be held concurrently with congressional and local elections on May 14, 2001. He adds that he will not run in this election.

    Day 4: Saturday January 20, 2001

    At noon, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo takes her oath of office in the presence of the crowd at EDSA, becoming the 14th president of the Philippines.

    At 2:00 pm, Estrada releases a letter saying he had "strong and serious doubts about the legality and constitutionality of her proclamation as president".[10] In that same letter, however, he says he would give up his office in order to allow for national reconciliation.

    Later, Estrada and his family evacuate Malacañan Palace on boat along the Pasig River. They are smiling and waving to reporters and shaking hands with the remaining Cabinet members and palace employees. He was initially placed under house arrest in San Juan, but was later transferred to his rest home in Sampaloc, a small village in Tanay, Rizal.


    World reaction to the administration change was mixed. Though foreign nations, including the United States, immediately expressed recognition of the legitimacy of Arroyo's presidency, foreign commentators described the revolt as "a defeat for due process of law", "mob rule", and a "de facto coup".[3]

    On January 18, 2008, Joseph Estrada's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) caused full-page advertisement in Metro Manila newspapers, blaming EDSA 2 of having "inflicted a dent on Philippine democracy". It featured clippings questioned the constitutionality of the revolution. The published featured clippings were taken from Time, The New York Times, The Straits Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Asia Times Online, The Economist, and International Herald Tribune. Supreme Court justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma opined that EDSA 2 violated the 1987 Constitution.[11]

    On February 2008 parts of the Catholic Church that played a vital role during EDSA II issued a sort of an apology. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo expressed disappointment in Mrs. Arroyo, saying that the event which has become known as EDSA II, installed a president who was reported in February 2008 by the Philippine newspaper The Daily Tribune as "... now being adjudged in surveys as the country's 'most corrupt' leader".[12]

    On March 13, 2008, Joseph Estrada named Lucio Tan, Jaime Sin, Fidel Ramos, Luis Singson, and the Ayala and Lopez clans (who were both involved in water businesses) as co-conspirators of EDSA Revolution of 2001.[13]

    See also


    1. ^ a b c d e Baumgartner, Jody; Kada, Naoko, eds. (Jan 1, 2003). "Weak Institutions and Strong Movements: The Case of President Estrada's Impeachment and Removal in the Philippines". Checking Executive Power: Presidential Impeachment in Comparative Perspective (illustrated ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 45–63. ISBN 9780275979263. 
    2. ^ Bowring, Philip. Filipino Democracy Needs Stronger Institutions. International Herald Tribune website. 2001, January 22. Retrieved January 27, 2009.
    3. ^ a b c Mydans, Seth. 'People Power II' Doesn't Give Filipinos the Same Glow. February 5, 2001. The New York Times.
    4. ^ "SC: People's welfare is the supreme law". The Philippine Star. January 21, 2001. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
    5. ^ a b c d e f g "Estrada vs Desierto: 146710-15 : March 2, 2001 : J. Puno : En Banc". Supreme Court of the Philippines. March 2, 2001. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
    6. ^ Amando Doronila, The Fall of Joseph Estrada, 2001, p. 83
    7. ^ Armageddon Averted: People Power 2001 (January 2001), Asian Business Strategy and Street Intelligence Ezine.
    8. ^ "Dichavez owned bank account, says Pimentel". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. May 31, 2005. 
    9. ^ "Erap Plunder Trial - BIR wants Erap to pay P2.9B tax; Estrada cries harassment". GMANews.TV. 2008-10-16. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
    10. ^ Dirk J. Barreveld (2001). Philippine President Estada Impeached!: How the President of the World's 13th Most Populous Country Stumbles Over His Mistresses, a Chinese Conspiracy and the Garbage of His Capital. iUniverse. pp. 476. ISBN 978-0-595-18437-8. 
    11. ^ "GMA NEWS.TV, Erap's PMP questions EDSA 2 constitutionality". January 18, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
    12. ^ Ayen Infante (February 20, 2008). "Edsa II a mistake, says CBCP head". Philippines: The Daily Tribune. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2008 
    13. ^ "GMA NEWS.TV, 7 years after ouster, Erap bares 5 conspirators". 2008-03-12. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 

    Further reading

    External links

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