Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Barbo #7 For Senator. Why vote for him?


LUTZ BARBO is one of the most qualified candidates for senator in the May 9, 2022 elections. His resume speaks for itself. His government service record includes: 1) Two-time Secretary of the Philippine Senate (2000-2001 and 2016-2018) 2) Faculty Member at Ateneo School of Government 3) Former President at Philippine Normal University 4) Former Provincial Governor at Eastern Samar, Philippines, 1986 - 1999 5) Former Chief of Staff, Sen. NENE Pimentel; Chief of staff, Sen. KOKO Pimentel at Senate of the Philippines, Pasay City, Philippines He was cited by then President Fidel Ramos as a "do-something" Governor. The Civil Service Commission conferred on him the Lingkod Bayan Presidential Award in 1997 for meritorious, exemplary government service. 

Barbo is an educator. He earned his BS Elementary Education degree from the Philippine Normal University. He was a public school classroom teacher in a remote barangay in Llorente, Eastern Samar for 6 years. 

He studied law at the University of Santo Tomas. He is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. He is a practicing lawyer. He represented human rights victims during Martial Law. He was cited by cited by Supreme Court Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee for his "fearless and unrelenting pursuit of truth and justice." Lutz Barbo was one of the recipients of the court-sanctioned compensation for human rights victims during martial law.



A. BILLS for FILING to: 

1. DEFINE the meaning & give substance to the Constitution’s mandatory provision: “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” (Art. II, Section 26): a) Regulating reasonable political expenses using digital billboards, print media, radio, TV, social media, etc. & b) Enumerating & spelling out who or what will constitute political dynasty 

2. FLESH OUT the mandatory Constitutional provision: “The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.” (Art. 2, Sec. 27): a) MAKING mandatory SALN (Statement of Assets & Liabilities Net worth) attachment to the COC (Certificate of Candidacy); & b) GIVING authority & requiring Anti-Money Laundering Council to divulge questionable bank accounts for reasonable purposes 

3. OUTLAW political turncoatism & discourage political butterflies by imposing sanctions. For example: An elected public official cannot change his political party during his term of office, or at least, within one (1) year after the elections & one (1) year before the elections 

4. REFORM and strengthen Political Party System by government funding of registered and accredited political parties defining & excluding fly by night political parties & nuisance candidates, including Commission on Audit (COA) reportorial requirements . 

5. PRESENT a Joint resolution calling for the evaluation of the Consultative Committee Report to review the 1987 Constitution, or in the alternative to call for a constitutional convention & federalize the form or system of government. 

6. FILE SENATE Joint Resolution acknowledging & expressing thanks & gratitude to the UN Permanent Arbitral Tribunal for the West Philippine Sea legal victory; 

7. FILE SENATE Joint Resolution encouraging the Office of the President to rejoin the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 

B. AS OVERSIGHT FUNCTION by looking into & reviewing some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that call to action to alleviate if not end poverty, protect the earth’s environment & climate, ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace & prosperity e.g., good health & well-being, quality education, gender equality, affordable & clean energy, peace, justice & strong institutions, etc.---by updating, strengthening, amending or adding more incentives & impetus to these laws. 

C. IN AID OF LEGISLATION, to look into the official behavior of public officers & employees or policy decisions or official directions that unduly affect the citizens & the country to the detriment of good governance.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT ABOUT LUTZ BARBOBelinda Olivares Cunanan - https://lutzbarbo.com

1) Belinda Olivares-Cunanan,
former Philippine Inquirer Columnist Belinda Olivares-Cunanan
I have known Lutz Barbo as a local public official for a long time and I’m ready to vote him for senator from Eastern VIsayas. That region of our country has suffered from under-representation for too long. Now it has a worthy son who can advance its interests honorably, and ABOUT TIME! He would be a great asset in the Senate, especially on the subject of Local Governments. Not too many senators know the LGU like Lutz does, and it is a most critical component of our democracy. Vote for Atty. Lutgardo Barbo for Senator, in Leni Robredo's line-up. Lutz Barbo would be a great asset in the Senate, with his long experience in Local Gov't. As Senator in Leni's slate, Atty Lutz Barbo could help strengthen the concept of Lccal Gov't. which redounds to more people empowerment. In a strong, vibirant and working DEMOCRACY, the role of the local government IS IMMEASURABLE. Our democracy is only as strong as our LGUs are strong. I'm campaigning for my friend, former Governor Lutz Barbo (#07), for senator, to represnt the interests of the LGUs in the Senaste. It is very important that the needs and demands of the FGUs are heard and answered, as they are the closest to the people and know theur urgent needs and how to answer those needs well.
2) Ruth Lobaton (from FB comments)
yes Lutz Barbo you can count on us.. Lobaton family and friends in imus, my parents brothers & relatives @ antique,.relatives and friends from negros occ. My sisters family in tanauan batangas..we will be campaigning for you God Bless!! Praying manalo po kyo together with MP ..Laban lang po tayo..
3) Sultan Ihsan Mdr (from FB comments)
VOTE for Senator Barbo # 7 in ballot... Mabuhay po kayo Senator ... Don't worry people's of Lanao Del Sur are supporting you...
4) Charlie Brown (from FB comments)
My no. 1 SENATOR ATTY. LUTZ BOCO - BARBO for the Senate!
5) Ingming Aberia, OpEd Columnist for the Manila Times and author of fictional novel, Miracles of Quiapo and Lutz Barbo is a peacemaker

One our country needs today.

6) Koko Pimentel, Philippine Senator Senator Koko Pimentel

Let us support a good and decent man with good plans and proper experience for the position. Lutgardo B. Barbo or LUTZ BARBO for short.
7) Esteban Tootsie Sabulao (from FB comments)
Pride of Eastern Samar.. Atty. Lutz BARBO para sa Senado. 

Lutz Barbo, stories of achievement

Lutz Barbo: Stories of Achievement

Lutz Barbo's reputation for getting things done precedes his run for the Senate in 2022. His resume speaks of solid achievements in the performance of his duties in various capacities, either as a private citizen or as a public servant. Should he succeed in his quest for the national office, he will bring to the position the same qualities of visionary leadership, proven competence, conviction, courage, and the highest standards of work ethic and professionalism. 

He studied to become a public school teacher, graduating from the Philippine Normal University in 1966 with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Early in his professional career as a public school teacher, he trekked over hills and across creeks to reach underserved upland barangays in Llorente, Eastern Samar. He braved unfriendly elements so he could teach the young, in keeping with the call of his profession. 

He went on to pursue law studies at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila. He graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1974 and passed the bar in the following year. As a young lawyer, he represented indigent clients that sought redress for inequities inflicted upon them. In one Supreme Court case where he served as counsel, docketed as 160 SCRA 404, 1987, Chief Justice Claudio Tehankee cited him "for [his] fearless and unrelenting pursuit of truth and justice for the tragic victims.” He took sides in discussions over social issues. 

Driven by convictions for truth and justice, he joined street protests that seek an end to rampant violations of humans rights during martial law. His involvement as writer and editor of campus organs (both in PNU and UST) added to his inner drive for reforms, especially against government suppression of mass media that debased the dissemination of  truth among citizens. His social activism earned him the ire of Marcos' dictatorial reign. He was jailed for six months, without sufficient grounds except for his political dissent. 

He refused to be silenced. Soon he became Deputy General Counsel of the Brotherhood Of Nationalistic, Involved and Free Attorneys to Combat Injustice and Oppression (BONIFACIO) and built alliances with other leaders of the political opposition. He became a pioneering member of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) in 1984. Founded by the late Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr., the PDP soon merged with Lakas ng Bayan (Bayan), the emerging political party that challenged the heretofore unchecked Marcos rule. 

He launched his political career when the People Power Revolution ousted Marcos in 1986. Pimentel, who was appointed as Minister of Local Government, appointed him Vice Governor of the Province of Eastern Samar. In the local elections of 1988, he won the first of three successive terms as Governor. 

The trailblazing breakthroughs he achieved as local chief executive were unprecedented in the province. Leveraging his high trust ratings and applying facilitative and participatory approaches to governance, he transformed communities of what used to be hotbeds of insurgency to become islands of peace and development. Eastern Samar recorded one of the highest number of bloody encounters between government troops and communist rebels in the 1980s. 

By the middle of 1990s, in his second term as Governor, the armed conflict in the area has, for all its debilitating effects, been subdued. Residents gradually returned to their homes (in one upland municipality, population had been reduced to a few tens of households due to frequent shooting encounters in the area). The local economy slowly got back to its feet. 

Recognition for his exemplary performance Governor Lutz Barbo  received multiple awards and recognition for his exemplary performance. Citations included:
  • Philippine Army 53rd Engineering Brigade Citation for Magnanimous, Committed and Effective Leadership, 1989
  • Pamana ng Lahi Award, DILG, 1991
  • Man of the Year, The Reporter (Samar-Leyte newspaper), 1992
  • Citation for Meritorious and Sustained development-Oriented Service, NEDA and RDC, 1992
  • Honorary American Citizen of Arkansas, City of fort Smith, USA, 1993
  • Most Outstanding Peace and Order Council Presidential Award, 1993
  • Aurora Aragon Quezon Peace Foundation Special Citation, 1994
  • Tanging Pagkilala National Award, Concerned Women of the Phils., 1994
  • Governor of the Year, Philippine National Police, Region VIII, 1995
  • Gawad Galing Pook, Asian Institute of Management & Department of Interior and Local Government, 1996

President Fidel Ramos cited him as a "do-something Governor," and commended him for his success in arresting the insurgency problem in Eastern Samar. Barbo's template later informed his ZOPAD (Zone of Peace and Development) model for Mindanao. Ramos conferred to Governor Barbo the Lingkod Bayan Presidential Award of the (highest honor given by the Civil Service Commission) in 1997. 

From Governor to Senate Secretary 

After his three successive 3-year terms as Governor, and later on as Senate Secretary when Nene Pimentel became Senate President in 2000, Barbo returned to his first flame--teaching. He became President of the Philippine Normal University, his alma mater, in 2006 until 2010, and of Taguig University in 2010 until 2013. He was also faculty member of Ateneo School of Government and lecturer of the UP College of Public Administration. When Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III became Senate President in 2016, the younger Pimentel also appointed him Senate Secretary like his father did.

  Barbo as Senate Secretary 
Lutz Barbo sworn in as Senate Secretary by Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III in 2016.[/caption] In 2001, the Philippine Senate, through a resolution, commended him as Senate Secretary and Clerk of the Senate Impeachment Court. Lutz Barbo: Other citations
  • Alma Mater Honor and Prestige Award, UST Law Alumni Foundation, Inc., 1992
  • National Citation for Continuous Devotion to Duty and Outstanding service to Scouting, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, 1990
  • Dedicated Service to Government and to the Filipino People Award, UST Law Alumni Foundation, Inc., 1988
  • PNUAA National Awardee for Public Service, 2006
  • Featured on Peacemaking in Local Governance by the Ateneo Center for Social Policy and Public Affair, 1996
  • Prominently mentioned in the books of former Senate Presidents Jovito R. Salonga—A Journey of Struggle and Hope, 2001, and Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr.—Martial Law in the Philippines: My Story, 2006.
Membership in Associations
  • SELDA (Samahan ng mga Ex-detainess Laban sa Detensyon at para sa Amnestiya). One of the detention prisoners and original human rights claimants vs. Marcos Estate which was decided by Judge Manuel Real of Hawaii, USA
  • IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines)
  • PHILCONSA (Philippine Constitution Association)
  • IVP (International visitors Program [Phils.] foundation, Inc)
What they say about Lutz Barbo From Belinda Olivares-Cunanan, former Philippine Daily Inquirer Columnist:
I have known the former Governor of Samar, Atty. Lutgardo "Lutz" Barbo, for a long time now and we have worked in several projects together. I can attest to the moral character and patriotism of my friend Lutz Barbo. He has been in the political scene from local to national for quite some time now and he is most knowledgeable about various local and national issues and has a deep love and concern for our one and only country. Lutz Barbo would act as the conscience of the Senate, restricting the tendencies of some of those given to wild spendings and questionable deals. . I sincerely ask my fellow Filipinos to put him where he would be most useful to our country---in the Senate of the Philippines. Mabuhay ka, Atty. Lutgardo Barbo.

Lutz Barbo, the peacemaker

by Ingming Aberia

First of 2 parts (Published by The Manila Times on 1 December 2021) I WAS relatively young when I got some kind of baptism of fire as a local government errand boy. The then Eastern Samar governor, Lutgardo "Lutz" Barbo, hosted one of President Fidel Ramos' out-of-town Cabinet meetings, and I was one of the former's executive assistants. 
The provincial sorties became one of the governance innovations introduced by the Ramos presidency. It aimed to accomplish many things in one setting: to reassure the people — even if the message it conveyed was merely symbolic — of government's commitment to facilitate people participation as a way to promote inclusiveness and social leveling, to know firsthand the plight of ordinary folks in the countryside and to bring his Cabinet secretaries to places where local governments were making commendable progress in the implementation of their respective development agenda. 

Earlier, Ramos had called Barbo a "do-something" governor. The President wanted to know how Eastern Samar had transformed itself from being a hotbed of the communist insurgency to a beacon for peace and development. The downside of provincial Cabinet meetings is that they abound with logistical risks which, as you can imagine, could be nightmarish for those coordinating with MalacaƱang. 

And I was one of MalacaƱang's provincial counterparts, although the level of input required by my role was much lesser than those who arranged security. The go-to guys of the Presidential Management Staff under Ramos impressed me as sticklers for detail. They demanded CSW (complete staff work) for all presentations that were proposed to be brought up during the meeting. And they wanted everything rushed. At one point during the PowerPoint presentation by my boss, the computer feed sputtered, unable to read the content of the floppy disk, which I spent several days developing. 

Upset, the PMS lead staff looked at me inquisitively as if blaming me for not following his instructions that the disk be thoroughly tested before the meeting. But Ramos, probably used to seeing such glitches in remote locations, saved me from embarrassment. He joked about being hungry, pointing to a long table where merienda food was ready. I assured the PMS guy that the floppy disk had a duplicate copy in my bag, and I only needed to locate it so that the presentation might be able to continue after the break. Just the same, I asked him — almost in a whisper — if an overhead projector and acetate could take the place of the laptop in the event that the disk was similarly damaged. He acted like he heard nothing from me. 

Days after the Ramos meeting, the governor ribbed me for the PowerPoint gaffe. Good thing, I said, the President was ready with his rescue repartee, like a Boy Scout. Barbo countered: Good thing you had a duplicate copy, always prepared, like a Boy Scout. At some other time, he told me that being a Boy Scout had probably saved him from summary execution. Years before becoming a public servant (Cory Aquino appointed him as OIC vice governor in 1986), he was being groomed to become the first Filipino vice president of Pepsi Cola Philippines. Unluckily for him, his arrest and detention during martial law got in the way. 

We often hear that martial law was a good time to be a rebel, and the radical ones went as far as to take up arms to resist it. Barbo, a young lawyer, chose to be closer to being a reform advocate than a revolutionary hunk, driven by force of reason rather than by reason of force. He was counsel for the Brotherhood of Nationalistic, Involved and Free Attorneys to Combat Injustice and Oppression (Bonifacio). 

Then one day he found the building where his office nested (in Pampanga) to be swarming with men in military uniform. They were looking for him. As soon as his identity was established, they seized him. 

"I am Lt Robert Bayona, graduate of the Philippine Military Academy," the leader of the arresting group menacingly confronted him. "I am arresting you for rebellion, on the basis of this arrest and seizure order." The same dreaded ASO that had sniffed out many a Marcos critic like him. 

He took a look at the piece of paper and saw his name in a list of six people, and one other name which he recognized. Was he being charged by association? At Camp Aguinaldo where he spent the next 26 hours without food, deprived of sleep, but generously cursed and yelled at, his captors, led by one whom he vaguely remembered as Major Collado, ordered him to strip. 

"Gusto namin makakita ng puwet ng isang abogado!" Wretched, physically drained and roundly humiliated, he was barely awake when he said something that angered the interrogators even more. 

"Leftist ka ba?" 

"Yes, Sir..." "P****g ina, pinatagal mo pa, aamin ka rin pala!" 

Boxing champion Joe Frazier said something about being thankful when, as one traded heavy blows with an opponent inside the ring, he could feel the pain. 

"If you get hit and you don't feel the pain, that means you are close to being dead." 

He did not feel any pain at all when Collado hit him on the chest. Thankfully, he cried his guts out when another blow caught him in the liver. 

"Leftist ako, Sir, pero hindi ako komunista," he tried to explain. 

"P****g ina, pare pareho lang 'yan!" 

Barbo knew of red-tagged desaparecidos who never re-appeared, assumed to be dead. None of his family members knew where he was. His wife, Rebecca Arambulo, with whom he eloped months earlier to the gross displeasure of his mother-in-law, was pregnant with their first child. Fear, anger, pain, humiliation and helplessness combined to leave him groping for self-preservation devices. At this point, he said he was leaving everything up to fate. 

"Boy Scout po ako, left po ang ginagamit namin sa pakikipagkamay, dahil mas malapit ang kaliwa sa puso." 

"Gago! Tang ina ka, tanda mo na, Boy Scout ka pa!" 

"Kasi kami po, once a Boy Scout, always a Boy Scout." 

"OK pagbibigyan kita. Pakita mong Boy Scout ka nga, i-recite mo ang Scout Law!" 

Lutz Barbo: 
Lutz Barbo: "Once a Boy Scout, Always a Boy Scout."

With gusto, Barbo obliged: "On my honor, I will do my best: to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. A Scout is: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent." 

Barbo could almost tell that Collado had become a Boy Scout himself by the way the latter eased up on his prey. Barbo lived to fight another day, as the saying goes. When he became governor years later, he fought for peace. 

Last of 2 parts (Published by The Manila Times on 8 December 2021) 

ONE bright morning, Lutz Barbo found himself alone and couldn't hold back his tears. He had grown desolate as he waited for the order that would transfer him to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, which housed one of the top security prisons in the Philippines, to be enforced. He was allowed to go out of his detention cell for a few hours each day — a welcome perk for detainees like him — but the time to otherwise enjoy the open air, and sometimes under a clear sky, was often lost to the pain of being awake as he grappled with thoughts of his family that up to that point had no clue about where he was.

He sat down on a solitary stool and had started to recite a prayer when somebody poked him behind his ears. He spun around playfully, like a kid. He saw no one but his shadow. Was he hallucinating? Then he remembered the last time he prayed with similar focus when he was about to take the bar. He mused that somebody was telling him he learns to pray only when he needs something that badly. Then the next day, to his surprise, his wife and mother-in-law appeared. 

The latter happened to have spent her whole civil service career (already retired at that point) as a pharmacist at the clinic in Camp Aguinaldo. She knew who to call for help. The immediate benefit of the mother-in-law's intervention was the stay of his transfer to Bicutan. She also mentioned that she had a classmate who was a sibling of Metrocom Chief Prospero Olivas, and assured him that with the help of that classmate his case was on its way to people who made decisions on who lives or who doesn't. 

In the meantime, Rebecca, his wife, made it a point to visit him daily, bringing along with her extra food provisions for three (sometimes more) hungry bellies. His captors, who rotated among themselves, were now composed mostly of officials that were taking up law courses with the aim of becoming lawyers themselves, including one Maj. Raul Bacalzo (he landed 12th place in the 1984 bar exams and became chief of the Philippine National Police in 2010), were aware of his attempts at bribery in the form of free meals. But they didn't mind. 

"We only have P4 for meal allowance," one of Barbo's newfound buddies quipped. And they reciprocated him for his kindness. When Olivas came over to check on the prisoner, Bacalzo et al. remarked to the effect that the ASO might have made a mistake in the enumeration of charges leveled against Barbo. 

That was enough to facilitate his eventual release, which happened a week later. Two years later, in 1983, Ninoy Aquino — also a political prisoner before he left for the United States to seek medical treatment — was not as lucky. He fell from an assassin's bullet at the tarmac of what is now known as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on his return from the US. His murder sparked mass protests that reached their peak during the 1986 People Power Revolution. 

The bloodless uprising catapulted his wife, Cory Aquino, to the seat of power, supplanting Marcos. Turning now to our home province of Eastern Samar, we see an area that had been ravaged not only by natural calamities (a typhoon path) but also by a communist insurgency that left thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Estimates culled from police records showed that a monthly average of two bloody encounters happened in the area from 1980 to 1985. In one upland municipality, the total population shrank from 1,950 in 1982 to 356 in 1986. Overall, the provincial population from 1980 to 1990 managed to grow by.27 percent (or from 320,637 to 329,325 in absolute numbers), an anemic figure in comparison to the national growth rate of 2.58 percent for the same period. 

When Barbo won his first electoral mandate in 1988 as provincial governor, his mission to end the armed conflict did not find a receptive environment. Nagging local tensions mimicked that which gripped the national government: some factions within the military that remained loyal to Marcos mounted at least four coup attempts against the Aquino government in 1986 alone, citing as grievance her appointment of cabinet members who were perceived to be leftists. She parried 10 such coup attempts throughout her term. The last one, led by Gringo Honasan, lasted for two days from Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 1989, claiming at least 99 lives. 

Ironically, it took a military man in the person of Ramos for Barbo to find the support he needed to push his peace agenda. Through the Provincial Peace and Order Council, the governor leveraged his moral suasion to rally multi-sectoral support for the declaration of a unilateral suspension of military operations (Usomo) in the entire province. His chant of "without peace there can be no development, without development there can be no peace," resonated among civic leaders, media, the academe, the religious and, most importantly, among the hierarchy in the military. 

While the peace process remained contentious and time-consuming, the confidence-building offensive brought dividends. By 1995, it was hard to argue against the results. Rebels surrendered to authorities, initially in trickles, then later in droves; the number of deadly encounters between rebels and government forces dropped from twice a month to zero; IDPs gradually returned to their communities; and the local economy slowly got back to its feet. 

Barbo was credited for leading his constituents to press multisectoral solutions that ended years of bloody conflicts in their midst. He received numerous awards for the accomplishment, highlighted by the Presidential Lingkod Bayan award in 1997.

Lutz Barbo receives Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award from President Fidel V. Ramos
Lutz Barbo receives Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award from President Fidel V. Ramos

If something good came out of his martial law ordeal, that would be two things: first, the detention at Camp Aguinaldo brought him and his mother-in-law to friendly terms and, second, his unique experience and perspective enabled him to drive a peace process that both the military and the rebels believed in. 

In the Beatitudes, Jesus Christ said: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Barbo, who is a senatorial candidate in next year's elections, has shown the path to peace and development. Voters who believe in a God that has a ready "Peace-be-with-you!" greeting for everyone may do well to embrace the task of peacemaking as their own, in keeping with their faith, and show their confidence in and support for the one who once won the peace for his people.


Barbo #7 For Senator. Why vote for him?

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