Finalist: National Book Award for Journalism (2000)
THE PHILIPPINE Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) began its research on President Joseph Estrada’s wealth in the first quarter of 2000. The direction of our research was determined by what could be documented. Thus, one track of our investigation focused on the acquisition of real estate and the construction of houses. The second track focused on the formation of corporations by members of President Estrada’s various families.
COMPANIES AND business executives linked to San Miguel Corp. (SMC) chairman Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco have been involved in the acquisition and construction of mansions allegedly intended for two of President Estrada’s mistresses.
2 Molave cor. Banaba Sts., Forbes Park Registered owner: Standard Constructors Inc. Fair market value: P150 million (land alone) INVESTIGATING THE PRESIDENT Estrada Wealth Can Estrada explain his wealth? Estrada’s Statements of Assets and Liabilities, 1985-1999 Estrada’s entrepreneurial families Estrada Houses An embarrassment of houses A trail of houses A transaction marred by fraud The […]
THE TRAIL of houses frequented or occupied by President Joseph Estrada and his mistresses leads to some of his closest friends such as businessmen Dante Tan, Mark Jimenez, Lucio Co and Jaime Dichaves. Other presidential friends such as Lucio Tan and Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco are also said to have made sure that the President’s women would be well provided for, and have even given them or members of their families either businesses or jobs that come with huge incomes.
SHORTLY AFTER their wedding in September 1999, presidential daughter Jacqueline Ejercito and her husband Manuel ‘Beaver’ Lopez became the proud new owners of a choice 3,000-square meter property at 518 Buendia Street in snooty Forbes Park, Makati, the most exclusive among all the gated communities in the country.
IN 1998, Jose Victor ‘JV’ Ejercito, then 29 years old, became the biggest shareholder of the newly formed Best World Construction Corp., an affiliate of BW Resources Corp., the gaming company now in the dock for stock manipulation and insider trading.
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PRESIDENT ESTRADA says his life is an open book. He does not deny the complications of his private life—that he has several mistresses, and that he has sired children by them.
The President, however, has not exactly been forthright about the financial aspects of his private life and the complex ethical issues—such as conflicts of interest—posed by the many and varied business involvements of his various families.
Winner: National Book Award for Journalism (2000)
THE INVESTIGATIVE reports in this book were written between 1990 and 2000, a decade that spanned the administrations of three democratically elected presidents. During that period, the integrity of democratic institutions, which were re-established after the fall of Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1986, was challenged by charges of corruption and malfeasance. Virtually no office, including the Supreme Court and the Office of the President, was spared.
In the 15 years since its founding, the PCIJ, has published more than a dozen books and produced several full-length documentaries, many of which have won major awards and citations, including five National Book Awards and a Catholic Mass Media Award.
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