• The selfless patriot Doy laurel

The Vice President,
Prime Minister, and
Foreign Minister of the
Philippine Republic

On February 25, 1986, Corazon C. Aquino and Salvador H. Laurel took their respective oaths in the historic Club Filipino as President and Vice President while President Marcos also took his in the Malacañang Palace. Under this fledgling administration, Doy Laurel was to become Foreign Minister and Prime Ministerat the same time. Later though, the Prime Minister which Mrs. Aquino rightfully gave to Doy Laurel thru Proclamation No. 1 was abolished. A premonition that Doy Laurel did not mind, this was to be the first strife of many others which will eventually lead to their falling out. As recounted by Mrs. Celia Diaz Laurel, “A month after their oath-taking, the Vice President was slowly eased out of Malacanang’s inner circle.” In a month’s span, therefore, Doy Laurel was an outcast in a group which he was material in putting together and putting where they were at that time.

Chairman of the Philippine Centennial

The last public office Doy Laurel held was Chairman of the National Commission from October 1993 to April 1999. He was appointed by President Fidel V. Ramos. Through his unwavering leadership, he revived Filipino nationalism in the Philippines and abroad by promoting love of country and awakening pride in the Filipino heritage and culture. The Philippines celebrated its Independence Day centennial on June 12, 1998.

The Freedom Fighter

During the dark days of the martial law Marcos’ power was absolute. No one dared oppose him. Those who could have were either jailed or dead or had sought asylum abroad and from that safe and comfortable distance – chose to be silent. But not Doy – he went forth risking his life and with his fiery speeches he exhorted the people not to be afraid to come out from the dark and join him in the fight to restore democracy.

On September 16, 1983, Salvador H. Laurel resigned as member of the Batasan in bold protest against the assassination of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. He was the only assemblyman to do so.

The Assemblyman

With the declaration of Martial Law and “adoption” of the 1973 Constitution, came the suspension of all political activities. However, after six long years of authoritarian rule, Marcos resumed elections on April 7, 1978 for the Interim Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly). It was the first ever national election since 1972, and a promised step toward political normalization. As it turned out, Marcos had other things in mind. Shortly before the elections, Marcos tried to pull off his biggest surprise by organizing his own political juggernaut, one that would unite all political parties— regardless of creed and color— into a single political party. The Laurels, who welcomed Marcos into the NP in 1964, opposed his plan as this would abolish the Nacionalista Party — a legacy of their late father, Jose P. Laurel.

Martial Law

When Marcos declared martial law Doy was in the United States. He was saddened to know that his childhood friend, Benigno Aquino, Jr. was incarcerated and that arrests were going on everyday. He consulted his professors in Yale regarding the legal aspect of martial law.

This was where he wanted to be – in the hallowed halls where his father once stood to debate on the burning issues of the day.

The Senate

In 1967 Doy ran for the Senate where he hoped to continue his crusade for justice for the poor. He emerged victorious as the youngest Nacionalista elected senator. Thus began a distinguished public service career that spanned nearly 37 years. On his first year as Senator he was Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice, Committee on Economic Affairs, Committee on Government Reorganization, and Committee on Community Development.

doy laurel

Defender of the Defenseless—CLASP

“If every lawyer in the country would only handle one case for an aggrieved pauper litigant, that would go a long way in restoring the faith of the poor in the administration of justice.”

Ang Bayan Higit Sa Lahat

When VP Doy Laurel’s formal break with the Cory administration had gone public, it gave him the opportunity to reunite the Nacionalista Party (NP) which, by this time, had been marred by internal dissensions among old party members. This was in 1989, the year when leaders of various opposition groups, disillusioned with Cory Aquino’s leadership, once again asked him to lead a united front against the administration. Doy did not hesitate and willingly accepted the challenge. “A real democracy,” said Doy, “requires a real opposition. Without a democratic opposition, there can be no hope for peaceful change.” As a result, a National Convention was held on May 21, 1989 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

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