Matatags Who Are Still In Government Service
by Cicero Castellano


“Wherever we are now, whatever public service we are engaged in, our defining moments were in the noble profession of arms servicing God, country and the Filipino people.” This is the curt reply of Senator Gregorio Honasan when asked how he defines public service.

Senator Honasan was first elected in the Senate in 1995, the first truly independent in Philippine political history to win in national elections. He has been elected senator four times as an independent. He rose to prominence as one of the leaders of a group of young idealistic officers known as the Reform the Armed Forces Movement. He was charged with rebellion and accused of masterminding the Oakwood mutiny led by a new generation of young reformist officers in the AFP. He was accused of coup d’etat, a charge which was later dismissed by the courts. He was later elected to the Senate, consistently advocating responsive government that would address poverty, ignorance, social injustice, deeper forms of violence and uphold national sovereignty and national security.

During his 20-year term in the Senate he chaired the Committees on Energy, Labor, Environment, Agrarian Reform, Sports, Public Information and Mass Media, Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

In the Senate’s Centennial Year, he was he was elected Assistant Majority Leader, Member of the Commission on Appointments and Chairman of the National Defense and Security and Peace and Reconciliation, and Chairman of the Joint Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committee.

His landmark contributions to legislation include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, National Security Policy and Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Solid Waste Management, among others.

“Gringo“ has been called a rebel, reformist and destabilizer among other less flattering labels. But he is, in his own words “just an ordinary professional soldier thrust into extraordinary circumstances“.

Honasan believes in the ancient definition of heroism: When good people, young and old, rich and poor, men and women work together, sacrifice and help build for the next generation. After he has done his duty in his lifetime, he would like history to remember him less as a personality, and more for the brotherhood of men that he was part of and what it stood for.

In 2019 he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

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Senator Panfilo Lacson
Ambassador Eduardo Kapunan
Police General(ret) Ricardo de Leon
Police General(ret) Reynaldo Velasco
Colonel(ret) Melchior Acosta


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