Guingona to address UNC graduates
By Ricardo E. Perez
|SENATOR TEOFISTO “TG” D. GUINGONA III|
Senator Teofisto “TG” De Lara Guingona III is a third generation public servant from an illustrious family in Mindanao. Teofisto Guingona Sr., his grandfather, served as the Governor of the entire Mindanao during the tenure of office of President Manuel Quezon during the 1930s. Teofisto “Tito”Guingona, Jr., TG’s father and namesake, was also a public servant, having served our country as Chairman of the Commission on Audit, Senator, Executive Secretary, Secretary of Justice, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and Vice President. His mother, Ruth de Lara, is the former Governor of Misamis Oriental and is presently, the Mayor of Gingoog City.
Given his father’s numerous accomplishments reaching the Second highest office of the land as the 13th Vice President of the Philippines, TG who is the third generation heir of the Teofisto name has a big shoe to fill. He has adequately prepared with the appropriate educational background, having graduated from the Ateneo de Manila with a degree in Economics and Law. He is married to his Ateneo Law classmate, Atty. Maria Victoria Garcia Guingona and they have a son, Bobby.
TG’s first taste of raw politics was his exposure to the inner workings of the student government, which he joined while in college at the Ateneo. He and his colleagues in the student government joined a protest rally of the opposition party Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN) to protest the massive cheating by the late strongman and dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos during the elections for the l978 Interim Batasan Pambansa. Marcos nemesis, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Sr. headed the LABAN ticket.
While marching along España Avenue, in Manila, TG and the entire Ateneo student government were arrested together with other prominent opposition personalities. At 19 years old, TG was incarcerated at Bicutan Center together with the likes of Joker Arroyo, Nene Pimentel, Soc Rodrigo, and Lorenzo Tanada Sr. He shared the prison cell with his father and mother, who were likewise, present in the rally.
TG served as Congressman of the Second District of Bukidnon during the 13th (2004-2007) and 14th Congress (2007-2010). In the lower House, he was a member of the opposition and the minority group. He is the Deputy Minority floor leader and is the Minority representative to the joint Congressional Power Commission (POWERCOM) which deals with matters relating to energy and electricity.
A man who has lived his public life in accordance with the principle that public office is a public trust, and that all government officials must at all times, be accountable to the people, TG, as he is fondly called by friends and colleagues, is presently a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines in the 15th Congress (2010-2016).
His resumé includes memberships in various Committees from the time
he became a member of the 13th and 14th Congress, as Congressman 2nd District Bukidnon and 15th Congress, as Senator of the Republic of the Philippines. He has 14 Committee membership, 6 Committee Vice-Chairmanship in Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, Energy, Government Corporations and Public Enterprise, Health and Demography, Justice and Human Rights, Joint Congressional Power Commission. His Committee Chairmanship includes, Accountability of Public Officers and Investigation (Blue Ribbon), Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, and Congressional Oversight Committee on the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
TG strongly believes in the principles of transparency in governance and accountability of government officials. Thus, he was chosen as a Kaya Natin! Champion. Kaya Natin! is a national movement that aims to promote good governance, ethical leadership and support effective and ethical leaders in government.
TG steadfastly fought against graft and corruption. He was involved in the impeachment complaints against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. He has exposed during the House Committee investigation of Joc-Joc Bolante and the Fertilizer Fund Scam, how he managed to get P1.83 Billion in just one week from the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani or GMA program of the Department of Agriculture. He also made an expose on the excessive travel expenses of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was also one of the very few who voted against House Resolution No. 1109 which called for a Senate-less Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass).
TG’s advocacy and direction of legislative work is to ensure that the government invests in the Filipino people. Using national resources primarily to build a healthy and educated citizenry represents investing in the Filipino people. At the minimum, his legislative efforts seek to protect the most vulnerable segments of the population-to make certain that they are neither impoverished materially nor marginalized socially. At best, these efforts seek to foster the investment climate necessary to create job opportunities that will enable greater human, not just economic, development.
Budget reform is also at the center of TG’s legislative agenda. He seeks also to craft legislation that will ensure both energy and food security through the use of more local resources. By doing so, he aims to make the price of food and energy both affordable and predictable.
With his family’s deeply rooted connection to Mindanao, TG believes that the cycle of violence that has brought misery and pain to this troubled region could be better addressed if more resources were directed in making Mindanaons healthier and better educated, thus enabling them to see a much brighter future for themselves. It is no surprise therefore, to see his name as co author of Republic Act No. 9996, otherwise known as the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Act of 2010.
TG has also championed Disaster Risk Reduction and Management which led to the enactment of Republic Act No. 10121. He has also involved himself in issues such as human rights and extra-judicial killings. As a senator Judge in the Impeachment trial at the Senate, TG’s extensive experience in Congress as Lawyer and lawmaker and as Chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, his voice and vote will be an important record that will form part of our nation’s political history. His message to the college graduating class of the University of Nueva Caceres as its 64th Commencement Speaker this 24th of March 2012 is something to look forward to.