Tuesday, June 21, 2022

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.

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