Jose Roy

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Senator Jose J. Roy

Jose J. Roy (July 19, 1904 - March 14, 1987) was a Filipino lawyer, economist, and politician who served for 25 consecutive years as a congressman and senator in the Congress of the Philippines. Known as the "poor man's economist", he drafted, authored and co-authored laws to improve the lot of the peasantry. As a member of Congress, he took particular pride in the sponsorship of almost all laws on land reform. He is also considered to be the "Father of the Philippine banking system" because of his authorship and involvement in almost all the major finance and tariff measures since the beginning of the Third Philippine Republic in 1946.

Early life[edit]

Roy was born and raised in Moncada, Tarlac. His family were tenant farmers and he attended public schools.[1] As a young boy, his first ambition was to become a writer and one of the topics he wrote on for a school paper was crop-sharing. Seeing and much affected by the oppression surrounding the farmers around him, he thought crop-sharing would be the best remedy for the life of disparity that existed between the wealthy landlords and the poverty-stricken tenant farmers.

Roy worked his way through college and graduated from the University of the Philippines with an LLB degree in 1930.[1] With his knowledge of Spanish, English, Filipino, Ilocano and Pampango, he was able to support himself through law school by working as an interpreter in the Public Service Commission. After graduation, he continued working at the PSC where he later became a special attorney specializing in transportation. At that time, he was just one of three public utility practitioners who specialized in transportation.

In 1936, the mining boom came and Roy expanded his practice to become a corporate lawyer. He organized mining corporations. His career flourished until the Second World War broke out.

Political career[edit]

After the war, in 1946, the first elections were held. The presidential candidate of the Liberal party was Manuel A. Roxas. Roxas persuaded Roy to run for Congress. Roy agreed only after being promised that if they won, Roxas would consider supporting the 70-30 Rice Crop-Sharing law he was planning to author. This law would provide that 70% of the rice crop be given to the tenant farmers and 30% to the landowners in all rice-producing regions of the Philippines and, after studying the matter, Roxas found that it had its merits. The 1946 election was a very difficult one. Roy was elected to represent the 1st district of Tarlac,[2] but he the lone Liberal Party candidate to win in Central Luzon.

Over the next 16 years, Roy was re-elected to three consecutive terms as congressman of the 1st District.[3][4][5] He was instrumental in the drafting and passage of important finance and socio-economic measures which he authored or sponsored. Among them were the Central Bank Act,[6] Rehabilitation Finance Corporation Act, Development Bank of the Philippines Act, Philippine Veterans Bank, Rural Bank Act and the Philippines Deposit Insurance Corporation Act.[1] He was also a member of the Council of Leaders, the Development Council, the Council of State and the Security Council.

In the general election of 1961, Roy was elected as a senator for the Fifth Congress.[7] He was one of only two Nacionalista Party senatorial candidates who were elected. In his 1967 re-election bid, the Nacionalista Party won seven of the eight possible seats in a senate race of which he topped, enjoying more than half a million votes over his nearest pursuer from the same party. As senator, Roy was elected as the Majority Floor Leader of the Sixth Congress in 1966.[8] Later in 1970, he became the President Pro-tempore of the Seventh Congress[9] and a member of the Commission on Appointments.[1] As President Pro-tempore, Roy urged then President Ferdinand Marcos to reduce the power of various political warlords throughout the country by forcing them to disband their private armies and [10] His efforts failed, however, and the Seventh Congress was eventually abolished when Marcos declared martial law in 1972.[9]

Other[edit]

Roy had the distinction of being the only legislator in both houses to serve continuously for 25 years. He never lost an election and was the only member of Congress who was chosen as one of the ten best congressmen each year from 1948 to 1961 by civic organizations, members of the press and national periodicals. An experienced speaker and debater who had a knack for explaining the intricacies of economics, banking and finance in terms understandable to the masses, he was quite popular with the Filipino people. In his time, Roy was a frequent delegate to international conferences.[1] He represented the country as a delegate to the United Nations in 1950, 1952, 1968 and 1969. ln 1952, he was a delegate to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Conference in Mexico City, and to Washington DC in 1954 and 1956. He also went to the United States as a delegate of the Philippine Economic Mission for the revision of the Phil-US Trade Act in Washington DC in 1954 and was an official guest of the British Government for a goodwill tour of the United Kingdom in 1958.

Outside of public service, Roy remained a stalwart of the Philippine Bar by becoming one of the moving spirits of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and being elected President of the Philippine Lawyers Association in 1968, while managing Jose J. Roy and Associates Law Offices. Roy was also a member of the Philippine Historical Society, the Knights of Rizal as well as a lifetime member of several veterans’organizations and he even once served as president of the Philippine Philatelic Association. He was the Chairman of the 5th General Conference of the World Anti-Communist League and a member of the Asian People Anti-Communist League. Roy also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Angeles University Foundation,[11][12] a university in Angeles, Pampanga.

Personal life[edit]

Roy was married to Consolacion R. Domingo and had three children.[1] He died in 1987.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Former Senators: Jose J. Roy". Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Online Roster of Philippine Legislators: 1st Congress of the Republic". Republic of Philippines House of The Representatives. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Online Roster of Philippine Legislators: 2nd Congress of the Republic". Republic of Philippines House of The Representatives. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Online Roster of Philippine Legislators: 2nd Congress of the Republic". Republic of Philippines House of The Representatives. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Online Roster of Philippine Legislators: 2nd Congress of the Republic". Republic of Philippines House of The Representatives. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ Roy, Jose. "Congressman Jose Roy, the author of the law which created the Central Bank of the Philippines in 1948". Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Republic of Philippines Fifth Congress". Senate of the Philippines. Archived from the original on April 23, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Republic of Philippines Sixth Congress". Senate of the Philippines. Archived from the original on April 23, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Republic of Philippines Seventh Congress". Senate of the Philippines. Archived from the original on April 23, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  10. ^ Tutay, Filemon V. (February 5, 1972). "Who Me?". The Philippines Free Press. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  11. ^ "About AUF: The Administration". Angeles University Foundation. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Nurturing a Culture of Excellence: AUF Timeline" (pdf). Angeles University Foundation. p. 15. Retrieved September 2, 2015.