Movies & TV

Filipino Celebrities Who've Spent Time in Jail

No one's perfect.

Celebrities aren't perfect, we know that much. 

They're exalted beings, sure, but they're not infallible, which is probably why we pounce on every news of their imperfections, from who is balding prematurely to who was busted with drugs in their vehicle.The latter, by the way, happens quite often, so we won't put the spotlight on that.

For this feature, we're listing down celebrities who've been jailed for some not-so-good behavior. Some have been convicted, some are still pending, but all their stories are pretty harrowing.

Berting Labra

To most people nowadays, his face is more familiar than his name but this comedy and drama veteran was a child star who was discovered and later raised by Fernando Poe Sr. after his father, a boxer, was murdered by the Japanese. 

In 1969, Labra was allegedly part of the group who shot and killed businessman Renato Pangilinan and wounded his driver. Labra stayed at a Muntinlupa jail for 13 years before he was exonerated by the Supreme Court. The actor returned to the industry, but passed away in 2009 of emphysema.


Eddie Fernandez

Fernandez was supposedly the ringleader behind the shooting that convicted Berting Labra. Details are foggy regarding the actual motive, but star witness actress Rosanna Ortiz's testimony was irrefutable. After also being exonerated by the Supreme Court after 13 years in prison, Fernandez, father of singer Pops Fernandez, tried to return to show business, but it ended up in tragedy. He died in a drug-related shootout with the NBI and the Philippine National Police. 

Dennis Roldan

Photo by IMDB.

The actor-athlete-politician was convicted of kidnapping a three-year-old Filipino-Chinese boy in 2005. According to reports, his girlfriend at that time hatched the idea of kidnapping her friend's kid. The father of actor Marco Gumabao and athlete-beauty queen Michelle Gumabao set the ransom at P250 million, a price that was later reduced to P3 million.

In 2014, Roldan was found guilty and "sentenced to reclusion perpetua or at least 30 years in prison, and was ordered  to pay P100,000 in civil indemnity, P100,000 for moral damages and another P100,000 for exemplary damages to the family of the kidnap victim." The conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in 2018. 

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Joseph Ejercito Estrada

It's a complicated story, but TLDR, the former President of the Philippines was convicted of plunder "beyond reasonable doubt" on September 12, 2007. At that time, plunder was punishable by the death penalty. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo granted executive clemency to her predecessor on October 25, 2007 after he spent almost seven years in detention.

Jinggoy Estrada

After three years and three months detained in Camp Crame, the former Senator was able to walk away a "free man" in 2017 after posting P1.33-million in bail. He paid P1 million for a plunder charge and P330,000 for 11 counts of graft. 

Bong Revilla

Accused at around the same time as his co-senator, Bong Revilla was also detained for plunder. He spent four and a half years at Camp Crame before being acquitted and released on December 7, 2018. He had to pay the goverment P124.5 million in civil liability. However, the senator-actor is still facing accusations of 16 counts of graft.


Robin Padilla

Photo by Jun de Leon.

The action star was convicted for illegal possession of firearms and sentenced to a maximum of eight years in jail in 1994. He spent four years in Bilibid before being granted conditional pardon by President Fidel Ramos. Padilla was then granted absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, a decision the former describes as his "rebirth."

Anjanette Abayari

Photo by Jason Quibilan.

At the peak of her career, the dethroned beauty queen and Darna actress found herself at the bottom when, in 1999, she was arrested at a Guam airport. Security personnel found traces of shabu in her makeup bag. In an interview with Esquire back in 2015, Abayari mentioned she went in and out of jail in Guam until she settled on a plea bargain. She paid a fine of $9,200 and, after being declared persona non grata by President Joseph Estrada, she returned to her home country, the United States.

Alma Concepcion

In a story that parallels Abayari's, Alma Concepcion, another famous beauty queen from the '90s, was also arrested in Guam a year prior (1998) also for possession and importation of shabu, a federal offense and felony, which meant she could've faced up to 20 years of prison time. According to a Philstar report, she pleaded guilty to what was termed "misprision of a felony," a misdemeanor for which she was put on parole. She had to star in an anti-drug commercial and her U.S. visa put on hold. She was able to return to the country after 27 days of court proceedings. 

Baron Geisler

Photo by Rennell Salumbre.

The industry bad boy has been arrested countless times for smoking on a plane, alleged violent behavior, grave threat and alarm, possession of a bladed weapon, et cetera. He has also been accused of alleged sexual harassment. He'd been detained at least once: for assaulting a neighbor in 2012. Geisler admitted that he was intoxicated at the time and was suffering from mental health problems. He was also in jail in 2017 for unjust vexation at a restaurant in Quezon City.  

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