Former president Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada (File photo)

MANILA – Malacañang greeted former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada with a happy 85th birthday on Tuesday.

Acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, on behalf of the Palace, wished for Estrada’s happiness and good health.

“Binabati po natin si Pangulong (We are greeting President) Joseph Ejercito Estrada sa kanyang ika-85 kaarawan ngayong araw (on his 85th birthday today), April 19. Happy birthday, Mr. President, Mayor Erap. We wish you happiness and good health, Mr. President,” he said in a Palace press briefing.

Estrada was born on April 19, 1937 in Tondo, Manila to Emilio Ejercito and Maria Marcelo.

He became a movie actor in his early twenties and established himself as a living legend in local filmdom.

Estrada first entered politics in 1967 when he was elected mayor of the municipality of San Juan and served up to 1986.

He was elected Senator from 1987 up to 1992 and as a lawmaker, he was appointed Chairperson of the committees on Cultural, Rural Development, and Public Works.

In 1992, he was elected Vice President of the Philippines under President Fidel V. Ramos and served until 1998.

In May 1998, he was elected as President although his tenure was short-lived.

Estrada was ousted on January 20, 2001 amid mass protests, and his vice president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ascended to the presidency.

In September 2007 he was convicted of plunder. However, he was later granted a presidential pardon by Arroyo.

He ran for president again in 2010 but was defeated by Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

In 2013, Estrada ran for mayor of Manila and defeated the incumbent, Alfredo Lim.

Last year, Estrada celebrated his 84th birthday in a hospital following a bout with pneumonia caused by Covid-19. (PNA)