People power in the Philippines may have toppled president Joseph Estrada, but it has brought many problems for the country's democratic system. No matter how grave the catalogue of crimes and misdemeanours against Mr Estrada, he is - constitutionally at least - still president. He has been given a week to answer charges that he accrued illegal wealth of US$200 million (HK$1.5 billion) during his term in office. His response is to point out that since he has not resigned - his impeachment trial collapsed - he is immune from prosecution. That leaves President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo facing a Catch-22 situation. Part of the deal that brought the army over to her side was an agreement to let the deposed leader leave the country. But memories of the Marcos era make that an unpopular option for an administration pledged to clean the country of its endemic corruption. Worse yet, Mr Estrada shows no signs of leaving. But pursuing him through the courts means reneging on the original deal, a prospect that is causing murmurings of dissatisfaction in sections of the military. Added to Mrs Arroyo's concerns is the prospect of congressional elections due in May. Mr Estrada's landslide 1998 victory and continuing popularity among the poorest of the nation means there is a distinct possibility Estrada supporters will win many of the 12 senate seats on offer, making it difficult to get reforms through the legislature. Legal means must be found to resolve the dilemma if all sides are to be satisfied. One way out may be to grant a presidential pardon, leaving 'Erap' to settle in glorious ignominy overseas.