Jose Roilo S. Golez, a former Navy captain, congressman and national security adviser who became an outspoken authority on the West Philippine Sea, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 71.
Parañaque City Vice Mayor Jose Enrico Golez confirmed his father’s death on Monday morning.
Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio grieved over the passing of the elder Golez, whom he described as “a true patriot.”
Carpio and Golez were kindred spirits in advocating the Philippines’ sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, especially when the Chinese started building military installations on islands within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines also expressed its condolences to the family of Golez, who was born on January 9, 1947 in Looc, Romblon.
“The AFP sincerely condoles with the family and friends of former congressman and National Security Adviser Roilo Golez for his untimely demise,” military spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo told reporters.
The House of Representatives’ Protocol Office said Golez’s wake will be held at Heritage Park in Taguig City. His interment will be on Friday, June 15.
Golez was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland before entering the Philippine Navy, retiring with a rank of captain like his father. He also earned his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines.
He served as the National Security Adviser to then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from 2001 to 2004 and was Postmaster General of the Philippine Postal Corp. under President Ferdinand Marcos from 1981 to 1986.
Golez made his mark nationally as a six-time congressman representing the second district of Parañaque. In the House of Representatives, he served as chairman of Committees on National Defense and Public Order and Security and headed the House contingent to the powerful Commission on Appointments. Maricel V. Cruz and Rey E. Requejo with PNA.
In a brief statement, Carpio said the nation has lost “a true patriot” in Golez due to his role in defending the country’s rights in West Philippine Sea.
“He was an indefatigable defender of the West Philippine Sea. He embraced ‘lawfare’ as a peaceful means of asserting our sovereign rights in the WPS,” Carpio stressed.
Golez’s passing “should strengthen and inspire the nation’s resolve to fight for its rights in the WPS,” the acting Chief Justice said.
Arroyo appointed Golez to the NSA office where he served from 2001 to 2004, the Armed Forces noted.
“He was a sailor, a patriot, and a public servant whose contributions to the Filipino nation and its people extended throughout his lifetime,” Arevalo said.
Golez will be remembered for his keen insights founded on his knowledge of military history and strategy, national security, and geopolitics, the AFP spokesperson added. Golez is survived by his wife Natalia, children and grandchildren. With PNA