|Solicitor General of the Philippines|
March 5, 1987 –February 5, 1992
|Preceded by||Sedfrey A. Ordoñez|
|Succeeded by||Ramon S. Desuasido|
February 6, 1947
Sagay City, Negros Occidental
|Died||September 11, 2013 66) (aged|
Pasig, Metro Manila
|Political party||Aksyon Demokratiko (2004)|
|Spouse(s)||Ma. Juanita "Jean" Rivera-Chavez|
|Children||Katrina Chavez |
|Residence|| Sagay City, Negros Occidental |
Francisco 'Frank' Chavez (6 February 1947 – 11 September 2013) was the Solicitor General of the Philippines during the Aquino administration.
Born Francisco Ibrado-Chavez in Bateria, Sagay, Negros Occidental on February 6, 1947. A member of one of the country’s biggest clans, the Locsin family of Negros Occidental (the original origin of the clan is from Iloilo City). Their forebear Wo Sin Lok, a peddler from Amoy, had himself baptised into the Catholic Church as Agustín Locsin and married Cecilia Sayson of Molo.
Frank Chavez finished his high school education in the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, graduating salutatorian in 1961. He then went to the West Negros College in Bacolod for his college education, graduating summa cum laude in 1967 with a degree in Bachelor of Arts major in English. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines, graduating cum laude in 1971. He was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1972.
He was the youngest bar examiner at age of 38 when he served as examiner in remedial law during the 1985 Bar examinations. In 1986, he was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the country for his achievements in his chosen field of law and human rights. He is one of the founders of the Brotherhood of Nationalistic, Involved and Free Attorneys to Combat Injustice and Oppression (BONIFACIO). He is a partner in the Sycip Salazar Hernandez and Gatmaitan Law Offices and a founding partner of the Chavez Laureta & Associates law office.
Frank’s political activism was evident as a student demonstrator against the rule of Ferdinand Marcos. As First-Quarter Stormer, he joined the student mass action on January 30, 1970, the First Battle of Mendiola Bridge. He was one of those manning the barricades when Metrocom soldiers stormed the University of the Philippines campus. His participation in numerous rallies notwithstanding, he finished the law course, cum laude, at the UP in 1971. Earlier, in 1967, he obtained a bachelor of science degree, cum laude from the West Negros College in Bacolod.
During the martial law years, he represented in court pro-bono more than 500 detainees who were hauled to various courts on trumped-up charges of sedition, rebellion, inciting to sedition, etc. by the Marcos regime (September 1983 to March 1986). He handled press freedom, religious freedom and the Lino Brocka cases, plus the Escalante massacre case and “mistrial of the century case” in 1985, the ban-Marcos proclamation case in February 1986, and was a tireless, fearless street parliamentarian. These “fight for freedom and justice” involvements earned him the 1987 Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM) award for law and human rights. But importantly, they convinced President Corazon C. Aquino to appoint him as the youngest Solicitor General, from 1987 to 1992. As SolGen, he worked for the winning of 74 of the 81 government/policy cases decided by the Philippine Supreme Court. At the end of his term, President Aquino thanked him “most sincerely for the services you have rendered to the Government as Solicitor General with unwavering courage and impeccable integrity.”
He is known for his anti-graft and corruption exposes, which resulted in a complete revamp of the Presidential Committee on Good Government; the Philippine Air Lines scam of P2.2 billion, resulting in the dismissal of top ranking PAL executives, and the cessation of the small town lottery system, among others. He exposed the “immoral, illegal and unconstitutional” secret agreements between the PCGG and the Marcoses, and exposed the existence of $13.2 billion (as of June 1998) found in account No. 885931 of the Union Bank of Switzerland maintained under the name of a Marcos daughter.
Chavez also served as Eli Soriano's attorney before the famous Filipino televangelist left the Philippines.
He was married to Ma. Juanita "Jean" Rivera-Chavez with 3 daughters: Katrina, Tippi and Ingrid Chavez. His sons-in-law: Bern Reyes and Nico Lacson. His grandsons: Frank Ethan, Dylan Michael and Liam Duncan.
Chavez died of a stroke on the night of September 11, 2013 at the age of 66. He had been hospitalized since July of that year at The Medical City – Ortigas in Pasig due to his bout with lymphoma. His remains were cremated and his ashes were interred at The Heritage Park in Taguig.
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