MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Joseph Estrada on Wednesday became the first Philippine leader to be arrested for alleged corruption in office, taken from his home amid a tense standoff between police and thousands of his supporters.

Estrada, who left the presidency Jan. 20 amid mass street protests against him after a six-week impeachment trial stalled, left with police even as he defiantly maintained his innocence and insisted he never gave up the presidency.

Hours earlier, the chief anti-graft court ordered Estrada's arrest on plunder charges, which carries the death penalty although it is considered highly unlikely to be imposed in this case.