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OCTOBER 20, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 41 | SEARCH ASIAWEEK

Estrada Watch
Since Joseph Estrada came to power just over two years ago, his presidency has been plagued by controversies. Most involve his friends and backers benefiting from business deals. Some of the low points

ALSO:
All played out: Is the end coming for President Estrada?
Jueteng money: Estrada defends himself against the claims
Interview: Accuser Singson tells his side of the story



1998

November
Estrada's friend and campaign donor, Mark Jimenez, brokers Hongkong-based First Pacific's takeover of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. Jimenez is a fugitive from U.S. justice, charged with 47 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, tax evasion and concealing illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic Party. Estrada calls Jimenez "a corporate genius" for engineering the PLDT takeover.

December
State-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. grants Best World Gaming and Entertainment Corp. the franchise to operate online bingo even before Best World registers with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There is no bidding for the award. Best World is owned by Estrada friend Dante Tan.

1999

February
Education Secretary Andrew Gonzalez says Cecilia de Castro, the president's cousin, tried to facilitate an $8.5 million textbook contract for an Estrada backer.

October
Housing czar Carina David is fired. David says Estrada uses buddies for advice.

2000

February
Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Perfecto Yasay says Estrada called him five times to ask him to clear Dante Tan of any wrongdoing in an insider-trading scandal involving another of Tan's companies, BW Resources. Estrada denies that he intervened.

March
Estrada fires his chief of staff, former university professor Aprodicio Laquian, after the aide says a so-called midnight cabinet decides on policies and contracts during drinking sessions. Estrada denies Laquian's claim.

August
The Court of Appeals dismisses a tax-evasion case against tycoon Lucio Tan, another Estrada ally, which was held over from the previous administration.

October
Ilocos Sur governor Luis Singson says he delivered gambling payoffs totaling about $8.9 million to Estrada. Congress investigates. Estrada tells Asiaweek he did not pocket a single cent. n

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TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

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PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


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  THIS EDITION
COVER: Japan: A new generation is coming up with individualistic solutions that will ultimately change the nation
Looking Glass: Novelist Murakami Ryu sees a dim future
Transformations: Japan changed before. It can happen again

NATIONS
PHILIPPINES: Is the end coming for President Estrada?
• Juentang money: Estrada defends himself against the claims
Record: The litany of unending controversies
Interview: Accuser Singson tells his side of the story

MYANMAR: Universities are open again, and one academic — former dictator Ne Win's wife — is happy

INDONESIA: The attorney general is not done with Suharto
Population: Family planning is threatened

INSIDE STORY
TIBET: As Tibetan exiles battle for power, Beijing seeks greater control over their homeland
Interview: What the Dalai Lama sees in Tibet's future
Reincarnation: The politics of Buddhism's central mystery
Interview: Tibetan "traitor" Ngabo Ngawang Jigme

ARTS & SCIENCE
People: The naked truth about Taiwan pop star Coco Lee

Art: Thai artist Vasan Sitthiket is rude, crude and proud of it

Health: Rating the top websites on diabetes

Books: Introducing sex by the numbers

BUSINESS
Gloom: Consumers are worried despite Korea's good numbers

Banks: Are Taiwan's financial institutions under threat?

Telecom: Troubles for Malaysia's largest cellphone operator

Investing: The next course for Bangkok's bourse

TECHNOLOGY
Shakeout: Chinese portals merge as dead dotcoms pile up

GigaMedia: A talk with the man who said no to PCCW

Cutting Edge: PC Witch -Head for the Woods, Gamer

EDITORIALS

Taiwan: President Chen needs to build a real coalition

God: Christianity's struggle for China and India

Letters & Comment: Can Asian biotech catch up?

STATISTICS
The Bottom Line: Asiaweek's ranking of world economies

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