Roilo Golez: Staunch defender of West Philippine Sea

June 11, 2018 - 6:17 PM
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Former national security adviser and staunch West Philippine Sea advocate Roilo Golez passed away this morning at 71. (Roilo Golez page via Facebook)

Following the sudden passing of Congressman Roilo Golez on June 11, many remembered his strong stance in the West Philippine Sea row with China.

“Nakakagulat! I just interviewed him on my show this morning. Now he is dead,” said DZRH host Cesar Chavez, who interviewed him on June 10 for a story story that aired on Monday morning.

Based on reports, the former National Security Adviser died of a heart attack, hours after the live radio interview discussing the landing of a Chinese plane in Davao City yesterday.

At the same time, Golez also shared the nearly 16-minute video of the interview on his Facebook page at 7:35 am.

He was also scheduled for another interview in ANC’s Headstart in the morning to discuss updates on the maritime dispute, but was not able to make it.

An active voice on social media

The long-time Paranaque representative keeps his social media accounts updated with shared or retweeted reports on foreign affairs.

In what seemed to be his last interview, Golez expressed how important it is for the administration to be transparent with the country’s maritime dispute.

“Napaka-importante para sa gobyerno and maging transparent, na hindi dapat mahuli sa balita. Dapat agad na ina-announce ito para kumalma and mga tao, para hindi magkaroon ng speculation,” the late politician said.

Golez served as security adviser during former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term from 2001 to 2004.

Before that, he was a congressman of Paranaque City for six years, from 1992 to 2001.

Notable reactions

Foreign analyst Alexander Neill described Golez as “a gentleman, a great strategist and passionate” on protecting the country’s maritime territory.

Meanwhile, acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said that the country “lost a true patriot” with Golez’s death.

“We lost a true patriot. He was an indefatigable defender of the West Philippine Sea. He embraced lawfare as a peaceful means of asserting our sovereign rights in the WPS. His death strengthens our resolve to carry on,” Carpio said.

His fellow congressman, Magdalo party list Rep. Gary C. Alejano, expressed his sentiments in the form of a Biblical quote, wherein he wrote, “We’ll continue the fight.”

Both Alejano and Golez were advocates of the country’s claim in the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea.