• Former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez passes away, was 83

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    Former Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez passed away on Sunday night due to multiple organ failure. He was 83.

    Gonzalez’s death came seven years after he underwent a kidney transplant in 2007 with his driver as the organ donor. He has been confined at the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) since last week.

    He was born on December 3, 1930, the fourth child of former Jaro, Iloilo Mayor Delfin Gonzalez and schoolteacher Estrella Maravilla Gonzalez.

    He finished his Bachelor of Arts degree at Colegio de San Agustin and earned his Bachelor of Laws at the University of Santo Tomas in 1955.

    He passed the Bar examinations in the same year and notched a remarkable grade of 99 percent in Remedial Law.

    Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed him as Justice secretary in 2004. He held the portfolio until 2009, before becoming the chief presidential legal counsel in the later years of the Arroyo administration.

    Prior to his stint as member of the Arroyo Cabinet, he also served as congressman of Iloilo.

    While he may be an ardent Arroyo supporter, Gonzales was admired by many for being a known critic of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos during the martial law years.

    When President Corazon Aquino assumed power in 1987, she appointed Gonzalez as Tanodbayan (Special Prosecutor).

    He was also among the major prosecutors during the impeachment trial of then-President Joseph Estrada.

    Meanwhile, friends and supporters of Gonzalez are awaiting the return of his remains in his hometown of Jaro.

    His remains will be brought to his residence in Brgy. Quintin Salas on September 10-13 for his province mates to pay their last respects to him.

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