Roilo Golez: Defender of the West Philippine Sea
MANILA, Philippines – A naval officer through and through, former national adviser Roilo Golez was supposed to give an interview on maritime disputes when he passed away on Monday, June 11.
He was 71.
Born on January 9, 1947 in Looc, Romblon, Golez was the son of a Philippine naval captain.
He was part of class 1970 of the United States Naval Academy where he majored in mathematics and operational analysis. Back in the country, Golez earned a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of the Philippines.
He was a former navy officer, serving as deputy administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority from 1978 to 1981, before becoming postmaster general under the Marcos administration from 1981 to 1986.
Afterwards, Golez was elected representative of Parañaque City – back when it had only one legislative district – for 6 terms from 1992 to 2001. In 2004, he was elected representative of the city’s second district.
During his legislative years, Golez was part of House committees on national defense and on public order and security. He was the head of the House contingent to the Commission on Appointments during his last term as congressman.
In between his stint at the House of Representatives, Golez served as the national security adviser under the Arroyo administration from 2001 to 2004.
For the West Philippine Sea
Golez was a strong and vocal defender of the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
According to a Newsbreak profile in 2002, Golez’s concept of security is anchored on fundamentals: good relations with neighbors, minimizing irritants with them, engaging China, and expressing views when there are perceived excesses.
This is perhaps why the former national security adviser consistently argued that the law is on the Philippines’ side in the maritime dispute. In a blog posted in May 2018, Golez called on the government to invoke “lawfare.” (READ: TIMELINE: The Philippines-China maritime dispute)
“This should have been done right at the very moment the Arbitral Tribunal announced its decision on July 12, 2016 favoring the Philippines,” he wrote. “Our legal and diplomatic teams should have launched a global offensive to announce to the world China's illegal claim and illegal occupation of our exclusive economic zone…”
He had also warned about the increasing militarization by China of the West Philippine Sea.
Aside from being a regular lecturer on the sea dispute at the National Defense College of the Philippines, Golez was also one of the 3 convenors of the West Philippine Sea Coalition.
He also established the Movement and Alliance to Resist China’s Aggression and has joined rallies calling out China's "bullying". – Rappler.com
TOP PHOTO: FOR WPS. Former congressman and national security adviser Roilo Golez speaks while pointing to a map showing Philippine-claimed territory in the West Philippine Sea during a rally in front of the building housing the Chinese consular office in 2013. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP