Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Work with Chief Executives and Legislators (1962-1972)

From a personal account of the late Raul M. Gonzalez:
"Antonio 'Yeba' Villegas, the vice mayor who took over after Mayor Lacson’s death, asked me to stay on and continue with my work as prosecutor of graft cases, the unofficial Manila city Ombudsman.  Young, tall for a Filipino and quite talented, he copied the gait and macho ways of the late mayor.  A brilliant lawyer, Villegas indiscriminately stepped on a lot of toes in his desire to eradicate graft and corruption in the city government, much like Lacson.           

"While still with Mayor Villegas, I was temporarily 'lent' to Sen. Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon from Iloilo, as a legal adviser.  Roding and I shared a political heritage.  While my father served as the last mayor of the town of Jaro before it was made a district of Iloilo City, Roding’s father served as the first mayor of the expanded City.  Ganzon was a man driven by his ambitions.  Although his family was not rich, he persisted in his studies and worked his way through law school, as a laborer and a jeepney driver.  Graduating with honors, he topped the bar exams in 1953.  This made him a kind of folk hero and catapulted him to various political positions in the city and finally as a senator of the Republic. 
"Not long after that, I was again lent to Sen. Genaro Magsaysay of Zambales for the same position and likewise taken in as counsel of the Liberal Party while I was also doing part-time work in the office of Senate Minority Floor Leader Gerardo Roxas of Capiz.  In between these jobs, I was named executive secretary of the Board of Censors for Motion Pictures, another part-time job under the Office of President Diosdado Macapagal.  When President Marcos succeeded Macapagal in 1965,  I was appointed as an Executive Member of the Board of Censors with voting privileges.
"After Villegas, Atty. Ramon 'Bombay' Bagatsing took over the mayorship of Manila with wounds still fresh as a result of the bombing of the Liberal Party’s miting de avance at the Plaza Miranda in Quiapo in 1971.   Bagatsing was from Sagay, Negros Occidental, an Ilonggo like Lacson and me.  The friendship we established was instant, as we were both lawyers and he appreciated what I did, for he also pursued an anti-corruption campaign during his second term as a Congressman of Manila in 1961-1965." 


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