#KnowTheCandidate: Gringo Honasan

We all know him as one of the current Senators of the Republic, he is also known to be in the military which made a move that triggered the EDSA people power revolution, he was also remembered as the rebel who made actions  because of the injustices he had seen with the oppressed. But beyond that, what do we know about Gringo Honasan that makes him an interesting bet for the Vice Presidential race?

Gringo Honasan had devoted his life with the military life as well as the skills and training that every soldier went through.  Graduated in 1971 from the Philippine Military Academy, he went to battle on site with rebels in the south. Later he became aide-de-camp to Juan Ponce Enrile while was the Secretary of National Defense  in 1974, eventually he became the department's Chief of Security.

After a change in administration, Gringo became known for being a rebel which caused him to leave his family and risk his life for the sake of change. In a family point of view, it is already hard for his children to grow up without a father who is fighting for reform. After years of moving around, he finally went into the open to fix things and try a different approach in pursuing reform.

After being given amnesty by President Ramos, he gambled into a shot for a seat in the Senate in 1995 which made him the first candidate to win the seat without a party behind him. He found a new purpose and achievement being part of the legislation which he authored, sponsored and supported reformation bills that yielded changes that he is looking for.

Some of his notable bills that were signed into were:

  • Republic Act Number 8368 - a law that decriminalized squatting.
  • Republic Act Number 8437 - which extends the period of effectivity of the Rent Control Law, from January 1, 1998 until December 31, 2001
  • Republic Act Number 8501 - Condones penalties imposed by government agencies that are involved in the National Housing Program, all of which have detrimental effect on intended socialized housing program beneficiaries;
  • Republic Act Number 8532 - Increases the Agrarian Reform Fund to Fifty Billion Pesos that will be used to finance production, credits, infrastructure and other support services and is intended to speed up the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and will benefit 4,000,000 tillers of land and the agricultural sector

These and more bills and accomplishments under his name expanded his legislative portfolio

Being in the senate for almost 2 decades has indeed changed him and made a connection with his family. Though it was hard for him at first to bond and talk to his kids, his new lifestyle gave him the time to be with them more, to heal past wounds.

Now, he is also a Grandfather which makes chasing after them his new past time. Despite being a charmer with his looks back in the days, he remains loyal and happy with his wife which he expresses to live and die together. That indeed is true love.

Now he faces a new challenge from his political life as the Vice-Presidential bet of UNA. This will be something new for him, though he believes his experience in the Senate and the different administrations has shaped him enough to be worthy.

We can call him a soldier, a rebel, but he also revealed that he is also a father, a grandfather who values these relationships and inspires him to deliver his responsibilities. It was the second time that I have met him, the first was back in 2012 which he also showed more of his paternal side more than the military man that we knew of him.

The challenge for him if ever he will be elected is how he will be effective in a new branch of government, from being a seasoned Senator, as a reform soldier, and also as a family man. 

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