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MANILA, Philippines – He has been a rebel soldier, an Edsa figure, and a 3-term senator, but Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II believes he still has unfinished business.
Honasan first gained prominence as an officer in the latter part of the Marcos years. He was aide-de-camp of then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, later on helping his boss plot a mutiny against then President Ferdinand Marcos. The plan was foiled, but led to the Edsa Revolution that still ousted Marcos but installed Corazon Aquino in 1986.
When Aquino became president, Honasan led two unsuccessful coup attempts against her administration.
His reputation as a rebel continued in the Arroyo administration. He went into hiding after he was accused of masterminding the 2003 Oakwood mutiny. A Makati Court later junked the coup d’etat case against him. He was also linked to the 2006 Marine standoff against Arroyo, a charge he denies.
In politics, Honasan has been independent but a guest candidate of coalitions. He became the first independent candidate to win as senator in 1995 but ran on the slate of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
He ran for reelection in 2001 also as an independent but allied with the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of ousted President Joseph Estrada. He placed 13th, but was able to get a 3-year term with the appointment of Sen Teofisto Guingona Jr as vice president. In 2007, Honasan ran again as an independent.
In his bid for a 4th term, Honasan is still running as an independent, but this time under the banner of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Estrada, Enrile, and Vice President Jejomar Binay. He said he shares Binay’s advocacies on OFWs, poverty alleviation, and housing.
In his 3 Senate terms, he passed bills and led investigations into environmental, military, police, and agrarian reform issues. He is the sponsor of the Freedom of Information or People’s Ownership of Government Information (POGI) Act of 2012.
Asked why he is seeking reelection, Honasan told Rappler there is simply so much work left to do. “From the 1896 Revolution to the 1986 People Power Revolution, there is unfinished business. I just want to continue and try to finish what I started in the context of sovereignty, national pride, the productivity that is there in our potential as a people.”
Watch Rappler's interview with Sen Honasan here:
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