Short History of the Philippines Return of Democracy (1987 to present year) 1987 In a bid to fully restore the democratic form of government, President Corazon Aquino appointed 48 members of the constitutional convention to draft a new constitution that restored the presidential form of government and abolished the Batasang Pambansa. The 1987 Constitution replaced the 1973 Constitution which was amended twice - in 1981 and in 1984. The Reform the AFP Movement (RAM), led by Gregorio Honasan, one of the leaders of the EDSA revolution, staged a military coup against the newly-installed Aquino government, in August 28, 1987. The rebel troops penetrated both Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame but were repulsed by government forces. There were several other unsuccessful attempts of military coups led by the RAM, the Nationalist Army of the Philippines (NAP), and an attempt by the combined forces of RAM and NAP. MV Do?a Paz, a maritime vessel owned by Sulpicio Lines, sank after colliding with a small oil tanker named Vector, on December 20, 1987. The local inter-island passenger ferry was travelling to Manila from Catbalogan, Samar. Vector, with more than 8,000 barrels of oil, burst into flames and the fire spread rapidly into Do?a Paz. Officially, it was reported that 1,565 persons perished from the disaster making it the worst passenger ferry disaster in the world, and the worst maritime disaster in recent post-war history. It is believed the death toll was much higher due to reports that the ferry was overloaded with passengers. 1990 A 7.8 magnitude earthquake, one of the most powerful and devastating natural calamities to hit the country caused widespread catastrophic damage in Luzon, especially in the central and Cordillera regions, on July 16, 1990. An estimated 1,600 people died as a result of the massive earthquake . 1991 The second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, and the largest eruption to affect a heavily populated area, occurred at Mount Pinatubo on June 15, 1991. The eruption produced high-speed avalanches of hot ash and gas, giant mud flows called lahars, and clouds of volcanic ash spread hundreds of miles across. 1992 President Fidel V. Ramos and Vice President Joseph E. Estrada were elected into office during the presidential election on May 11, 1992. They were sworn into office by Supreme Court Chief Justice Andres Narvasa at the Luneta Grandstand in June 30, 1992. It was the first democratic election since the EDSA revolution - it was open, fair, and peaceful. Ramos was the first Protestant to become president. The administration of President Ramos was competent and solid. It was marked by greater stability and economic progress. Although his administration was viewed positively, Ramos resisted the encouragement of loyalists for him to initiate a constitutional amendment that would have allowed him to run for a second term. He believed that the constitution is such a very fundamental law to be subjected to frequent changes. The United States closed its last military bases in the country. The volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, and the damage it created, hastened the closure of the military bases. 1998 President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, best known by his screen name Erap, was elected into office in the May 11, 1998 election. It was the second democratic election since the EDSA revolution. He took his oath as the 13th President of the Philippines at Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan, on June 30, 1998. Filipinos worldwide joined in the celebration of a century of independence. It had been 100 years since General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed on June 12, 1896 in Kawit, Cavite the country's independence from foreign power. 2000 End of the 20th Century and the arrival of the new millennium. President Joseph Estrada enjoined the nation "to pray for global peace and brotherhood" in light of the challenges of the 21st Century. People breathed a collective sign of relief when computer systems through-out the world did not malfunction, as feared, due to the possible glitch that many computer software might be unable to distinguish the year 1900 and 2000 because they were programmed to read only the last two digits ending in 00. 2001 President Joseph Ejercio Estrada's impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down in January. Massive street protests, cabinet resignations, and withdrawal of support from the Armed Forces leadership, in what was called EDSA Dos, or People's Power II, forced Estrada to resign as President. He was succeeded immediately by his Vice-President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as acting President. She is the daughter of the late President Diosdado Macapagal. 2004 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was elected in the May 2004 election to her own six-year term as President. Her election was marred by controversy sparked by the so- called Garci tape containing alleged wiretapped conversation of an apparent attempt to influence the election. Attempts to impeach her in Congress failed. Allegations of government corruptions threatens the political stability of her administration, while the world-wide rapid increase in the prices of prime commodities, like food and petroleum products, threatens the economic stability of the country. 2008 Manny Pacquiao made history by becoming the first Filipino, and first Asian, to hold four concurrent world boxing championship belts, in four different boxing weight divisions, by defeating Mexican David Diaz at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 28, 2008.