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Estrada Claims to Remain President of Philippines

HeadlineJan 31, 2001

In the Philippines, Joseph Estrada said today he remains the duly elected president of the Philippines and his ouster under the pressure of protests and defections of top officials has created a constitutional crisis. In his first public appearance since his vice president took power 11 days ago, Estrada told cheering supporters he was on leave, forced by events and circumstances beyond his control. He said that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was only acting president, and any appointments she makes are temporary. While Estrada said he would pursue only legal remedies, his statements appear to put him on a collision course with the new president, who went on live television last night to say groups using ill-gotten wealth were trying to destabilize her government. She vowed to crush them.

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