Joseph Estrada portrays minibus driver again

If your last role turns out to be a dud, it’s time to go back to your roots.

For deposed Philippines president Joseph Estrada, who was ousted in a bloodless coup in 2001 amid allegations of incompetence and corruption, the times, it seems, are ripe for a genre comeback.

The 72-year-old, who starred in 120 movies in a 26-year acting career that he used as a springboard into politics, last week started filming a new feature comedy.

And if its storyline — about a minibus driver trying to deal with his daughter’s plans to marry her Filipino-American boyfriend — sounds familiar, that’s not surprising.

Minibus drivers feature strongly in Estrada’s canon. His last movie, “Sa Kuko ng Agila” (In the Eagle’s Claws) — made in 1989 while he was a senator — featured him as another minibus driver who opposes U.S. military bases in the Philippines.

Estrada built his political career as a champion of the poor, largely based on his movie roles as an underdog.

“He really thinks that the poor, who are already suffering, should not be made to cry some more in the movies. He wants to make them happy, even if only briefly,” his spokeswoman Margaux Salcedo told the Associated Press.

Estrada rose from town mayor to senator to vice president before taking the presidency, and he says he’s considering a run for president again next year. He says a constitutional ban on a second term doesn’t apply to him.

Clearly, Estrada wants to rewrite his script.

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