Sunday, September 7, 2014

Raul M. Gonzalez (1930-2014)

With gratitude for the gift of 83 years of the life of Raul M. Gonzalez (RMG), his family announces his departure in obedience to the ultimate call of our Creator.  He was a responsible husband and father, an indulgent grandfather, a loyal friend, and a courageous public servant.  Please remember him in your prayers.

Raul Gonzalez has served the Filipino people as an active opponent of dictatorship during the darkest days of Martial Law.  He was the youngest lawyer of Sen. Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. during his incarceration and trial under Military Commission No. 2.  He represented Ninoy’s mother, Aurora Aquino, in an urgent plea to the Supreme Court to invalidate the Military Commission’s death sentence and to transfer Ninoy’s case to a civilian court.

Gonzalez supported the Cory Aquino – Doy Laurel partnership during the 1986 special presidential and vice-presidential elections, and he admired the sacrifice of Salvador Laurel in agreeing to be Aquino's running-mate, for RMG believed that Laurel was more prepared for the presidency.  After the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos thru the February 1986 “People Power” event, Cory Aquino assumed the presidency and appointed RMG as Tanodbayan (Ombudsman), a responsibility he exercised until September 1988.

From 1995 to 2004, RMG served as Congressman of the Lone District of Iloilo City.  He was one of the prosecutors of the House of Representatives during the impeachment trial of Joseph Ejercito Estrada.  From 2004 to 2009, he headed the Department of Justice in the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Raul M. Gonzalez was born in La Carlota, Negros Occidental, on 03 December 1930.  His father, Delfin Gonzalez, was the last mayor of Jaro, Iloilo, where RMG was raised.  He passed away at around 10:45 in the evening of September 7 owing to multiple organ failure.  He died peacefully, surrounded by his wife, Dr. Pacita Trinidad Gonzalez, and their 3 sons and 2 daughters, after they prayed the holy rosary, his favorite prayer, and recited prayers for the commendation of the dying. 

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