Disgraced former Philippine President Joseph Estrada and six others have been sued for $180 million in Northern California federal court, reports the Philippine News. The US-based daughters of Salvador Dacer, a public relations consultant, are suing Estrada for compensatory and punitive damages for the death of their father. Estrada resigned from office in 2001 after an impeachment trial stemming from allegations of corruption. He was later pardoned by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Dacer, a former confidant of Estrada, had a falling out with him when Estrada suspected Dacer of feeding sensitive information to his political opponents. Dacer was en route to his Manila office on Nov. 24, 2000, when alleged operatives of the presidential task force abducted him and his driver. The victims' charred remains were later found bearing signs of torture and strangulation. In addition to Estrada, the lawsuit names the former head of his Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, Gen. Panfilo Lacson.

This is the second lawsuit to be filed against a former Philippine head of state. In 1991, a U.S. federal court ruled that deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos was guilty of crimes against humanity, which included torture, summary executions and forced disappearances, and ordered the Marcos estate to pay human rights victims $1.2 billion for exemplary damages and $7.76 million for compensatory damages. The victims have yet to collect.