FORMER Philippine President Joseph Estrada, once an action movie star, is returning to the big screen with his first film since he was toppled on corruption charges.
The 72-year-old started filming a comedy Wednesday about a minibus driver trying to deal with his daughterâ€™s plans to marry her Filipino-American boyfriend, his spokeswoman Margaux Salcedo said.
â€œHe really thinks that the poor, who are already suffering, should not be made to cry some more in the movies,â€ Salcedo said. â€œHe wants to make them happy, even if only briefly.â€
Estrada built his political career as a champion of the poor, largely based on his movie roles as an underdog. He rose from town mayor to senator to vice president before taking the presidency.
He stepped down amid massive protests in 2001 after serving only half of his six-year term. He was convicted of â€œplunderâ€ in September 2007 but was immediately granted a pardon by his successor and political nemesis, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Estrada has said he will consider running for president again next year and that the constitutional ban on a second term does not apply to him.
Estrada, with his trademark mustache, pompadour and wristband, is a Filipino movie hall-of-famer, having starred in more than 100 films.
His last movie, Sa Kuko ng Agila (In the Eagleâ€™s Claws) â€” made in 1989 while he was a senator â€” portrays him as another minibus driver who opposes US military bases in the Philippines.
â€œThis is like his comeback film,â€ Salcedo said of the new project. â€œHe hasnâ€™t done a movie in so longâ€. â€“â€“ AP.