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Roilo Golez, ex-national security chief, 71

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Roilo Golez, ex-national  security  chief, 71
Golez

MANILA, Philippines — Former national security adviser and Parañaque congressman Roilo Golez passed away yesterday. He was 71.

A few hours before his death, Golez gave an early morning interview on dzRH on the latest developments in the South China Sea, being an advocate of the Philippines’ rights over the disputed waters.

He was scheduled to be interviewed on ANC on the same issue but he was rushed to hospital after he felt sick and passed out.

His death was confirmed by his son, Parañaque City Vice Mayor Jose Enrico Golez, and brother Ferdinand, a former Navy chief.

 Aside from being an advocate of the Philippines’ rights in the West Philippine Sea, Golez also fought against the passage of the Reproductive Health Law.

He served as representative of the second district of Parañaque City for six terms, from 1992 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2013.

Golez was appointed national security adviser under the Arroyo administration from 2001 to 2004.

 Since leaving Congress, Golez has been very vocal about Beijing’s continued encroachment and militarization of the Philippine-claimed territories in the South China Sea. He often called out officials of the Duterte administration on the issue.

 On Sunday, Golez asked authorities on his Twitter account to investigate how a Chinese military plane managed to land and refuel in Davao City and check whether persons or cargoes were loaded or unloaded from the aircraft.

 “We Filipinos should stand up for this man. Mr. President, Sir, I appeal to you to order the filing of a strong, publicly announced diplomatic protest. I believe Chinese Coast Guard personnel are not only violating our exclusive economic zone but also committing acts of piracy,” he said in his Twitter account where he posted the picture of a Filipino fisherman named Ernie.

Lawmakers mourn Golez death

Lawmakers expressed sadness over the passing of Golez.

Sens. Joseph Victor Ejercito and Sonny Angara expressed condolences to Golez’s family.

“He was a true statesman who will be sorely missed, especially during these trying times in our country’s history,” Sen. Francis Escudero said.

 Sen. Joel Villanueva described Golez as “a mentor and a friend.”

“He was a picture of vibrant life and untiring public service until his very last days. He was out of politics, but he continued to touch base not only with his former constituents, but Filipinos all over the country with his journeys to different places,” Sen. Francis Pangilinan said.

Sen. Nancy Binay said Golez “was a voice of reason and conscience, a patriot who was vocal in various national security issues and concerns.”

 “His analyses of issues and words of advice will be missed,” Binay said.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas mourned the passing of Golez.

 “It is with sadness that I announce that House Minority Leader Danny Suarez informed me that our former colleague, Roy Golez, passed away. May his soul rest in peace,” Fariñas said.

Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting also condoled with Golez’s family.

Flags at the House of Representatives were flown at half-staff in honor of Golez.

Last week, Golez received the Outstanding Advocacy for Tourism award from the Rotary Club of Manila for promoting Philippine tourist destinations.

Unknown to many, Golez was also a boxing aficionado.

‘Philippines lost a patriot’

Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio joined the mourning over the passing of Golez.

Carpio said the nation has lost “a true patriot” in Golez due to his role in defending the country’s rights in the West Philippine Sea.

“He was an indefatigable defender of the West Philippine Sea. He embraced lawfare as a peaceful means of asserting our sovereign rights,” he said.

Carpio added that Golez’ s passing should strengthen and inspire the nation’s resolve to fight for its rights in the West Philippine Sea.

 The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also expressed its condolences to the Golez family.

“He was a sailor, a patriot and a public servant whose contributions to the country and its people extended throughout his lifetime,” AFP spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

“He will be remembered for his keen insights founded on his knowledge of military history and strategy, national security and geopolitics,” he added.

Born in Looc, Romblon on Jan. 9, 1947, Golez studied in public schools and later entered the Philippine Military Academy and the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he graduated with honors

He obtained his Master in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines, where he was valedictorian of his class.

After serving in the Navy, he was appointed postmaster general after which he joined protests against the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. – With Delon Porcalla, Edu Punay, Michael Punongbayan

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

ROILO GOLEZ

SOUTH CHINA SEA

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

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