MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Former Iloilo City representative and justice secretary Raul M. Gonzalez died Sunday, September 7, his family announced. He was 83.
“He passed away at around 10:45 in the evening of September 7 owing to multiple organ failure,” a statement from the Gonzalez family released Monday, September 8, said.
“He died peacefully, surrounded by his wife, Dr. Pacita Trinidad Gonzalez, and their 3 sons and 2 daughters, after they prayed the Holy Rosary, his favorite prayer, and recited prayers for the commendation of the dying,” the family said.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) paid tribute to their former leader.
“We wish to offer our prayers in the time of sorrow for an astute lawyer and a dedicated family man,” current Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said in a statement. “He lived a long and fruitful life and may he rest in God’s peaceful presence.”
Gonzalez was most recently Justice chief under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, serving from 2004 to 2009.
The DOJ said that under Gonzalez’s term as DOJ chief, the department handled a slew of high-profile cases, including the plunder charges against Estrada; coup d’etat charges against then Lt. SG Antonio Trillanes IV; the Nida Blanca murder case; the Nur Misuari rebellion case; the MV Princess of the Stars case; and the filing of charges against former Senator Panfilo Lacson in connection with the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.
Before that, he was the representative of the lone district of Iloilo City, serving from 1995 to 2004. He was part of the prosecution panel during the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada.
From 1986 to 1988, he served as Tanodbayan (Ombudsman), appointed by President Corazon Aquino to the position after the first EDSA People Power revolution.
He was also known as an opposition activist during the Martial Law years, and was a lawyer of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
He was born in La Carlota, Negros Occidental, on 3 December 1930.
The wake for Gonzalez will be at the Heritage Memorial Park until Saturday, except on Wednesday and Thursday when his remains will be brought to their Iloilo home.
Internment will be on Sunday, September 14, the family said.
“He was a responsible husband and father, an indulgent grandfather, a loyal friend, and a courageous public servant. Please remember him in your prayers,” the family said. – Rappler.com