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Carina Davide, Former Housing Secretary
"Most men in high positions are assumed or known to have at least one mistress."
 real 28k

The BBC's Jonathan Head in Manila
"Few south east Asian countries would dare treat their president with such irreverance"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 18:21 GMT
Estrada mistresses to testify
Protesters vent their anger outside a house allegedly owned by one of Estrada's mistresses
Protesters target a home allegedly used by one of Estrada's mistresses
Philippine prosecutors have said they will call President Joseph Estrada's wife and up to five mistresses to give evidence at his Senate corruption trial.

First Lady Luisa Ejercito
The First Lady may be quizzed over tax returns
Prosecutor Oscar Moreno said he had no choice but to call the president's mistresses after Mr Estrada stopped the prosecution team from inspecting a number of properties he allegedly built for them.

Mr Moreno said the president's wife, First Lady Luisa Ejercito, would also be called to answer allegations that the couple failed to declare assets in tax returns.


Some of the women have apparently developed very extravagant tastes

Carina Davide, Former Housing Secretary in Estrada administration
Mr Estrada is accused of receiving millions of dollars in bribes from bosses of illegal gambling rackets and skimming off tobacco taxes.

His impeachment trial is set to start in the Senate on Thursday.

Mr Moreno said his team had wished to search Mr Estrada's private home, the alleged houses of three mistresses and a mountain villa south of Manila.

Joseph Estrada
Mr Estrada: Keen to keep family out of trial
Prosecutors say the inspections would help corroborate the evidence of a witness who says he delivered the bribes to these addresses.

But Mr Estrada's lawyers opposed the searches, branding them a publicity stunt.

Humiliating

The president, a former film star who acknowledges children by at least three actresses, has pleaded for his extended family to be left out of his political problems.

Protester
Protesters have called on Mr Estrada to quit
Mr Moreno stressed prosecutors had wanted to protect the women's privacy.

"We would have preferred the taking of depositions on these ladies instead of asking them to testify in open court, in order to spare them and their respective families from the glare of media which would be overly humiliating," he said.

"[But]... the president clearly showed he has many things to hide and would suppress the evidence even at the expense of exposing his mistresses to scrutiny and even ignominy."

Affairs

Mr Moreno did not identify which women the prosecution wished to call.

Mr Estrada has admitted having children by Laarni Enriquez, Guia Gomez and Joy Melendrez. He also has three children from his marriage.

The president recently said he had given up affairs because being president left him no time.

Mr Estrada has pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery, corruption, culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust.

He will be removed from office if found guilty by two thirds of the Senate.

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See also:

20 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Estrada trial launched
21 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Key allies desert Estrada
13 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Estrada on the edge
02 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
A tale of betrayal and revenge
30 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Estrada under fire
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