JOVITO "JOVY" REYES SALONGA (/hɔːvɪtɔː/ /sɑːlɔːŋɡɑː/ , June 22, 1920 – March 10, 2016) was a Filipino statesman and lawyer, as well as a leading opposition leader during the regime of Ferdinand Marcos from the declaration of martial law in 1972 until the People Power Revolution in 1986, which removed Marcos from power. Salonga was the 14th President of the Senate of the Philippines serving from 1987 to 1992.
* 1 Early life and education
* 1.1 World War II hero * 1.2 American education
* 2 Political Career (1961–1987)
* 2.1 House of Representatives * 2.2 Senate * 2.3 Martial Law Years * 2.4 EDSA People Power * 2.5 PCGG Chairman
* 3 Senate Presidency (1987–1992)
* 3.1 Legislation * 3.2 Rejection of the Phil-U.S. Bases Treaty * 3.3 Removal as Senate President * 3.4 1992 Presidential Election
* 4 Post-Senate Presidency
* 5 Death * 6 Personal life * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
WORLD WAR II HERO
A few months after the Japanese invasion in December 1941, Salonga
went underground and engaged in anti-Japanese activities. In April
1942, he was captured and tortured by the Japanese Military Police in
After passing the bar, he went back to the U.P. College of Law where
he earned an LL.B in 1946. He traveled to the U.S. when he won a
scholarship to attend
Salonga returned to the
POLITICAL CAREER (1961–1987)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
In 1960, he was persuaded by Vice President
Diosdado Macapagal , then
president of the Liberal Party (LP), one of the two dominant political
parties in the
Shortly after his election, he tangled with one of the best debaters of the opposing party, the Nationalista Party (NP), on the issue of proportional representation in various committees. He also composed a seminal article, published and editorialized in various papers, on the Philippines' territorial claim to North Borneo (Sabah). With the election of Cornelio Villareal (LP, Capiz) as Speaker of the House, Salonga was appointed to the chairmanship of the prestigious Committee on Good Government and led the committee in conducting inquires in aid of legislation relentlessly about the prevailing graft and corruption in the government and recommended filing of charges against some government officials and employees. In June 1962, President Macapagal filed the Philippine petition against Malaysia's alleged illegal expropriation of North Borneo. Salonga was appointed to head the delegation in the January 1963 London negotiations.
After one term, Salonga was chosen to run for Senate under the LP
banner in the 1965 elections . Despite limited financial resources and
the victory of NP candidate Marcos as president, Salonga was elected
senator, garnering the most number of votes. In 1967, he was Benigno
Aquino, Jr. 's chief lawyer in the underage lawsuit filed against the
latter by President Marcos. Largely through Salonga's skills in
jurisprudence, Aquino won his case before the Commission on Elections.
Subsequently, Marcos' appeals to the Supreme Court and Senate
Electoral Tribunal were overturned, granting a final victory to
Salonga and Aquino. For his well-documented exposés against the
Marcos administration, Salonga was hailed as the "Nation's Fiscalizer"
He ran for re-election in 1971. Along with some members of the Liberal Party, he was critically injured on the August 21 bombing of his party's proclamation rally at Plaza Miranda. His doctors' prognoses were grim—he was not expected to live. He survived, however, with impaired eyesight and hearing, and more than a hundred tiny pieces of shrapnel in his body. He topped the senatorial race for the second time.
He returned to the political arena and embarked on a successful law career. He protested martial law and was unjustly arrested. After his release from military custody, he was offered a visiting scholarship at Yale, where he engaged in the revision of his book on international law. He completed his book on the Marcos years, which included a program for a new democratic Philippines.
MARTIAL LAW YEARS
The imposition of martial law in September 1972 was the catalyst that radicalized hundreds of oppositionists and the pretext to arrest and imprison many of them, including moderate ones. Salonga openly and vigorously opposed it, and he and his law partners, Sedfrey Ordoñez and Pedro L. Yap, defended many cases of well-known political prisoners as well as obscure detainees, most of them on a pro bono basis.
In October 1980, following the bombing of the Philippine International Convention Center, Marcos again ordered Salonga's arrest; this time he was detained at Fort Bonifacio without any formal charges and investigation. He was allowed to leave with his wife for the U.S. in March 1981, to attend several international conferences and undergo medical procedures. Right after their departure, subversion charges—supposedly a well-known Marcos tactic to scare off his enemies from ever returning—were filed against him. Jovito and Lydia Salonga lived in self-exile in Hawaii, then moved to Encino, California , where he was visited by many opposition leaders, including Ninoy Aquino. It was here where, at the request of LP President Gerry Roxas , Salonga wrote the party's _Vision and Program of Government_. After Roxas' death in April 1982, Salonga was elected acting president of the Liberal Party.
EDSA PEOPLE POWER
The assassination of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. in August 1983
prompted Salonga to return to the
Shortly after the EDSA Revolution, President
As chairman of the Commission on Good Government, he "filed and perfected" the government's claim to the Marcos Swiss deposits through the Swiss lawyers dr. Salvioni, dr. Fontanet and Leuenberger. His unwavering pursuit of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth was, in one senator's words, the _"moral equivalent of a war"_. His efforts were rewarded when the government sequestrated Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. 's firms including 93% shares of the United Coconut Planters Bank and 27% shares of the San Miguel Corporation.
In 2000, the Swiss federal Court, after 14 years of litigation, decided to forfeit the corrupt Marcos funds received by the Swiss Credit bank in Zurich, and delivered to the nation's government more than US $ 680,000,000. The commission also petitioned to expropriate several real estate properties and several of the nation's largest corporations that the Philippine government claim were bought through blackmail or money the Marcos family allegedly plundered from the Treasury.
SENATE PRESIDENCY (1987–1992)
After his one-year stint with PCGG, he was drafted to run for the senate in the 1987 elections. For the third time, he won the number one spot in the senatorial race. He was subsequently elected as Senate President due to his colleagues' respect for his long standing career as lawyer, lawmaker and defender of human rights.
Elected as Senate president by his peers, and as Senator, Salonga
authored three major legislative measures: the "Code of Conduct and
Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (R.A. 6713)", the
"Anti-Coup d'état Act (R.A. 6968)", and the "Anti-Plunder Law (R.A.
7080)". In April 1990, he was conferred a Doctor of Laws degree,
honoris causa , by the University of the
Salonga, despite limited means, won three senatorial elections,
garnering the largest number of votes under three different
administrations: that of
Diosdado Macapagal ,
REJECTION OF THE PHIL-U.S. BASES TREATY
In September 1991, Salonga led a group of 12 Senators in rejecting the R.P.-U.S. Bases Treaty. He paid a heavy price for this decision as his financial backers in the business community withdrew their support for his presidential campaign.
REMOVAL AS SENATE PRESIDENT
In December 1991 he was ousted from his position as President of the
Senate on the charge that he was using his post to boost his chances
of becoming the President of the
1992 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
He then launched a bid for the presidency in 1992, running under the Liberal Party with PDP-Laban 's Aquilino Pimentel Jr. running for vice president, but he lost the 1992 presidential election (finishing sixth in a seven-person race in the official tally), despite the resounding support of students from various colleges and universities.
After his retirement from government service, he continued work in
public service through _Kilosbayan_ (People Action), a forum for
raising political consciousness and citizens' participation in
governance; the _Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation_ (Heroes'
Memorial), a private entity that honors the nation's martyrs and
heroes for their sacrifices during martial law; and _Bantay
Katarungan_ (Sentinel of Justice), an organization that seeks to
improve the administration of justice in the
The Chair of Bantay Katarungan is former Secretary of Justice Sedfrey
Ordoñez , who had been Salonga's law partner for more than three
decades. Salonga remains founder/adviser. Salonga remains active as a
speaker, denouncing what he claims are the moral and social ills in
Philippine society. Since ending his political career in 1992, Salonga
has been delivering lectures intermittently at such eminent
universities as the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, Universidad
de Santo Tomas, De la Salle and F.E.U. He teaches regularly at the
Lyceum of the
Salonga was president of the United Church of Christ in the
Salonga wrote President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Salonga branded the government's move to hand back an American
citizen accused of rape, to the
Joker P. Arroyo paid him the highest tribute when he said:
_"Some people make history, others write it. But there is a rare
handful who, in writing-and in speaking-make history. These are the
ones who illuminate the issues, and in so doing move men to answer
them with noble actions... In our country there was
Claro M. Recto
On August 31, 2007, Salonga received the _Ramon Magsaysay Award_ for
government service. Some 256 Asian people have won the award in
various categories since its founding in 1957. Each awardee receives a
certificate, a medallion and an undisclosed cash prize. Salonga was
one of the 7 Asian awardees, from China, India, South Korea,
On August 15, 2007 Salonga\'s book, _Not by Power or Wealth Alone_, was published.
On August 24, 2007, Salonga's _Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation_ launched a commemorative 200-page book, _Bantayog ng mga Bayani_ (Monument of Heroes) at the Bantayog Memorial Center on Quezon Avenue corner EDSA to honor heroes, 160 Filipino student and community activists, priests, nuns, journalists, lawyers, Supreme Court justices and an Italian priest Tulio Favali, who was murdered in 1985 by a military-backed fanatic cult.
RAMON MAGSAYSAY AWARD
Salonga received the
Ramon Magsaysay Award for government service on
August 31, 2007. He was honored for _"the exemplary integrity and
substance of his long public career in service to democracy and good
government in the Philippines"_. Other awardees included Kim Sun Tae
RESIGNATION FROM SIGMA RHO
On September 14, 2007, Salonga resigned as member of his own Sigma
Rho fraternity after its involvement and implication in the hazing
University of the Philippines, Diliman graduand, 20-year-old
Cris Mendez (on August 27). Salonga joined
Sigma Rho as UP student in
the 1940s. Salonga stated the reason for his resignation :
“_because of recent events in which
Sigma Rho has been involved_.”
The NBI issued subpoenas to members of the
Sigma Rho fraternity, but
none of its members came forward to admit responsibility for the
brutal murder or shed light on the truth. Mendez suffered “_bruises
all over his body, particularly on the back of his arms and
thighs_.” On September 17, 2007, the "Grand Archon Emeritus"
(leading alumnus of the University of the
His spouse was Lydia Busuego whom he married in 1948, who died due to complications from diabetes on April 20, 2010, she was 88. Salonga's children are Patricia, Victoria Regina, Ricardo, Esteban Fernando, and Eduardo.
* ^ Original Term until December 30, 1977, cut short pursuant to
the Declaration of Martial Law on September 23, 1972.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Bueza, Michael (10 March 2016). "Ex-Senate