Tiangco ignorant of Guanzon’s character
The appointment of Dean Andy Bautista as chair of the Commission on Elections was widely lauded because of his known impeccable record. It was the appointment of Rowena Guanzon as Comelec commissioner which elicited some criticisms.
Toby Tiangco assailed the appointment of Guanzon on the ground that the latter is a lackey of the Liberal Party. Tiangco’s criticism is a complete misreading of Guanzon’s character. It betrays his total ignorance of the role played by Guanzon in the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship. Guanzon was one of the few Filipino women in the early 1980s who had the balls, so to speak, to fight the brutal minions of the dictatorship in central Negros.
It may be recalled that in 1984, Guanzon, fresh from UP College of Law, was at the forefront of the mass actions against the corruption and brutal suppression of human rights in Negros. Her courageous denunciation of official abuses caught the attention of national media which covered her confrontations with the top Marcos henchman in Negros, Rep. Armin Gustilo, a feared warlord in that area. But he was no match to the righteous courage of a young, winsome but fiery Rowena Guanzon, his niece.
In recognition of her role in the struggle to uphold political and civil liberties during the Marcos dictatorship, she was designated by President Cory Aquino as OIC mayor of Cadiz City in 1986. Thereafter, her stint as elected mayor of her city was notable for adherence to good governance.
Certainly, Guanzon’s character has been steeled in the crucible of the struggle for the rule of law and genuine democracy.
—EDWARD B. CONTRERAS, [email protected]
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