In a very special episode of Give Us This Day, Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy gives honor and tribute to an exemplary public servant, former Congressman and National Security Adviser, Roilo Golez, who passed aways suddenly on June 11, 2018.
Pastor Apollo was joined on the set by Rep. Golez’ beloved brother and a decorated officer of the Philippine Navy Eastern Command in Mindanao and a long-time friend of the ministry, Ret. Vice Admiral Ferdinand “Toto” Golez, himself a man of accomplishment.
Also present in the studio audience were Mrs. Natalia Golez, widow of the late Hon. Roilo Golez, their only son, Parañaque City Vice Mayor Jose Enrico Golez and his wife, Mrs. Belina Golez. With them were Mrs. Shirley Golez, wife of Ferdinand “Toto” Golez and their daughter, Ms. Kristine Golez, as well as Mr. Elias Golez, the youngest Golez brother and their sister, Mrs. Amelita Simon.
Memories of a Good Brother
The retired vice admiral had much to share about his brother, Roilo, as a caring brother, whom he called his “idol”, the “superstar” of the talented Golez family, someone who was “petmalu”, Filipino slang which means something that is extraordinary and amazing.
There were 7 years between Toto and Roilo, a huge gap when they were younger. And as the elder brother, Roilo constantly reminded his siblings to be mindful of their words, their attitude, their aptitude and character, to be truthful always, to respect those older than themselves, and to be better persons.
“He was very supportive of his family, unique in the ways he showed his care,” recalls Ret. VADM Golez.
He remembers that Roilo was one of their loudest cheerers when the former naval officer, his children, and their brother Bong, participated in the first Ironman triathlon event here in Davao City, which involved a 1.9 kl swim, 90 kl bike run, and 21.1 kl run, in a hot and humid summer day in March.
Toto also remember his brother as someone who was always improving himself. “He was an avid reader,” Toto Golez says. He mentions his brother’s large library and how he would consistently enroll himself online in universities in the USA, like Harvard, so that he could prepare himself for some task and become a better public servant.
He was a nationalist, a patriot, and a sportsman. He excelled in his performance as a national leader, in academics, business, civic organization and politics.
A Long List of Accomplishments
Never one to take a back seat in anything, Roilo Golez had a colorful and admirable track record.
He served as congressman for his constituency for six straight terms since the 9th Congress in 1992, up to the 15th Congress, which convened in 2010. And in all those years, he had a 100% attendance record, no absence, a solid demonstration of his dedication and commitment to his duty and responsibility.
Rep. Golez was consistently awarded as “One of the Most Outstanding Congressmen of the Philippines”. He was also an awardee of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM) for public service, a prestigious award.
He also served as National Security Adviser to the cabinet of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“His leadership style was always to lead by example,” says Toto Golez. For this reason, he was well-loved and admired by his constituents and clients. The late congressman consistently won by landslide in the 2nd District of Paranaque, that he earned the moniker “The Landslide King of Paranaque.”
He was a passionate advocate for Philippine sovereignty, a staunch defender of the country’s islands and reefs in the West Philippine Sea.
“I remember that every morning I would wake up to see his morning Viber messages to us, his friends and colleagues expounding upon his advocacies,” recalls Toto Golez.
A Determined Young Man
Born in 1947, in the small town of Looc, Romblon, Rolio began to stand out even as a young man.
He went to the Philippine Military Academy and the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland where he distinguished himself in academics, leadership and sports. He was consistently in the Superintendent’s Honor List and was selected company commander, a high position in the Brigade of Midshipmen.
A sport enthusiast, Rolio became a brigade boxing champion for four straight years while in the Naval Academy, establishing a record as the first to achieve this feat since the Academy was established in 1845. Only fourteen midshipmen have won four brigade boxing championships in the academy’s history.
“To be a brigade boxing champion is different,” explained the former vice admiral, “it means you are really very good.”
He explained that brigade boxing had a competition system similar to the Olympics. When a competitor is defeated, he is taken away from the rest of the tournament. To be undefeated means that you are unbeatable.
After Annapolis, Golez took up Master in Business Administration (MBA) in the University of the Philippines where he graduated valedictorian of his class.
He also served for fourteen years as an officer of the Philippine Navy, reaching the rank of navy captain, equivalent to a full colonel in the army.
A man worthy to emulate and honor, Rep. Roilo Golez will be missed by many, not only in Parañaque, but all over the country.