Ban on Estrada film upheld
Mon, Dec 01, 2008

MANILA - AN APPELLATE court has upheld a ban on a film depicting the life of disgraced former Philippines president Joseph Estrada, according to a court ruling released over the weekend.

The court upheld the government censors' 2006 ban on the biographical work called 'Ang Mabuhay Para Sa Masa' (To Live For The People), charting movie star-turned politician Mr Estrada's rise to the presidency and fall from grace, deeming that it altered history.

The government has said the film may only be shown in public if its producers revised a section that had portrayed Mr Estrada's fall from power in January 2001 as a 'power grab' by then vice-president Gloria Arroyo, who had succeeded him.

It also demanded that the documentary include 'replies by personalities defamed' by the film, including Mrs Arroyo, the Supreme Court chief justice and House of Representatives speaker at the time, and Estrada predecessor Fidel Ramos, among others.

Mr Estrada, now 70, was toppled from power in a bloodless, military-backed uprising in 2001 after he became the first leader of the Southeast Asian nation to be impeached for alleged corruption.

The Supreme Court later ruled that Mrs Arroyo, who has since won a disputed presidential election in 2004, had legally taken over the presidency in 2001, dismissing a legal challenge from the deposed leader.

Mr Estrada was arrested in April 2001 and put on trial for corruption, and was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison in 2007. However he was pardoned by Mrs Arroyo two months after his sentencing. -- AFP


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