Lutgardo “Lutz” Boco Barbo is a lawyer, politician, and an educator. He was Eastern Samar governor from 1987 until 1998. He was the chief of staff of Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III until 2016, and served as the Senate secretary until 2018.
He is vice chairman and executive vice president of the PDP-Laban wing led by Senator Manny Pacquiao and Koko Pimentel.
Lutz Barbo was the president of the Philippine Normal University from 2006 to 2010, and Taguig City University from 2011 to 2013. He was also a faculty member and lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University from 2005 to 2020.
“Ang ating problema ay hindi lamang pang-COVID. Ang problema natin ay liderato. A good leader should show the way, should lead the way, and go all out all the way.”
LUTGARDO BOCO BARBO PROFILE
Full Name: Lutgardo Boco Barbo
Birthdate: October 01, 1945 (Age 77)
Birthplace: Llorente, Eastern Samar
Languages Spoken: Filipino, English
Spouse: Rebecca Arambulo-Barbo
Profession/Occupation: Lawyer & Professor
- Bachelor of Law, University of Santo Tomas, 1974
- Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Philippine Normal University, 1966
- Pioneering member of PDP-Laban party-list (established 1984) and current Vice Chairman and Executive Vice-President
- Secretary to Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimental III, Senate of the Philippines, 2016-2018
- Chief of Staff, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel Jr., Senate of the Philippines, 2014-2016
- Chief of Staff and General Counsel, Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel III, Senate of the Philippines, 2001-2003
- Chief of the Senate Impeachment Court, Senate of the Philippines, 2001-2002
- Secretary to Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimental, Senate of the Philippines, 2000-2001
- Governor, Eastern Samar, 1988-1991; 1991-1994; 1994-1998
- Senate President Secretary, 2000-2001; 2016-2018
- Public educator and lawyer, 1966-1970; 2004-2020
- Public school teacher (pre-Martial Law)
- Faculty Member, Ateneo School of Government, 2005-2020
- University President, Taguig University, 2011-2013
- University President, Philippine Normal University, 2006-2010
- Faculty member, University of the Philippines – College of Public Administration, 2005
Lutz Barbo is a lawyer, educator, human rights activist and former Senate official, serving as chief of staff and Senate secretary to two former Senate presidents, the late Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. and his son, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel. Barbo was also governor of Eastern Samar from 1988 to 1998.
After teaching at a public school in Eastern Samar, he started his legal career representing indigent clients. He joined protests during Martial Law and was arrested, jailed and tortured for six months for his political dissent. He is a member of SELDA or Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at para sa Amnestiya and was one of the detained prisoners and original human rights claimants against the Ferdinand Marcos Estate which was decided by Judge Manuel Real of Hawaii, USA.
Lutz Barbo was among the founding members of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino in 1984, that later merged with Lakas ng Bayan. PDP co-founder Nene Pimental, as minister of local government post-Martial Law, appointed Barbo as vice governor of Eastern Samar. Barbo would then win three consecutive gubernatorial terms in Eastern Samar.
Barbo is running for the Senate for the first time, under the faction of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan led by presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao and Koko Pimentel.
If elected, Barbo says he will prioritize political reforms including a shift to federalism, strengthening political parties, and prohibiting political dynasties, political turncoatism as well as the shifting of political alliances depending on winners of elections.
In his three terms as governor of Eastern Samar, Barbo was commended by President Fidel Ramos for arresting the insurgency problems. Barbo’s template later informed President Ramos’ ZOPAD (Zone of Peace and Development) model for Mindanao.
Barbo served as secretary to then-Senate President Nene Pimentel from 2000 to 2001. He would return to teaching after almost 15 years until being tapped for his former Senate post by then-Senate President Koko Pimentel from 2016 to 2018. He was also Senator Koko Pimentel’s chief of staff from 2014 to 2016.
Barbo started as a public school teacher in Llorente, Eastern Samar. He then became a lawyer, representing indigent clients. His socio-political activism during Martial Law, which landed him in jail for six months, also brought him into the political orbit. He would be among the founding members of PDP, to which political party he still belongs.
Barbo returned to his teaching roots in the 2000s. He also became university president in two different institutions, though his appointment to the Philippine Normal University, a state university, was contested for not meeting the qualifications and characteristics for the position of university president.
He was among the founding members of PDP; currently, he is the vice-chairman and executive vice president of PDP-Laban under the Pacquiao-Pimentel faction.
ADVOCACIES AND LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
A. BILLS for FILING to:
1. DEFINE the meaning & give substance to the Constitution’s mandatory provision: “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” (Art. II, Section 26):
a) Regulating reasonable political expenses using digital billboards, print media, radio, TV, social media, etc. &
b) Enumerating & spelling out who or what will constitute political dynasty
2. FLESH OUT the mandatory Constitutional provision: “The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.” (Art. 2, Sec. 27):
a) MAKING mandatory SALN (Statement of Assets & Liabilities Net worth) attachment to the COC (Certificate of Candidacy); &
b) GIVING authority & requiring Anti-Money Laundering Council to divulge questionable bank accounts for reasonable purposes
3. OUTLAW political turncoatism & discourage political butterflies by imposing sanctions. For example: An elected public official cannot change his political party during his term of office, or at least, within one (1) year after the elections & one (1) year before the elections
4. REFORM and strengthen Political Party System by government funding of registered and accredited political parties defining & excluding fly by night political parties & nuisance candidates, including Commission on Audit (COA) reportorial requirements .
5. PRESENT a Joint resolution calling for the evaluation of the Consultative Committee Report to review the 1987 Constitution, or in the alternative to call for a constitutional convention & federalize the form or system of government.
6. FILE SENATE Joint Resolution acknowledging & expressing thanks & gratitude to the UN Permanent Arbitral Tribunal for the West Philippine Sea legal victory;
7. FILE SENATE Joint Resolution encouraging the Office of the President to rejoin the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
B. AS OVERSIGHT FUNCTION by looking into & reviewing some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that call to action to alleviate if not end poverty, protect the earth’s environment & climate, ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace & prosperity e.g., good health & well-being, quality education, gender equality, affordable & clean energy, peace, justice & strong institutions, etc.—by updating, strengthening, amending or adding more incentives & impetus to these laws.
C. IN AID OF LEGISLATION, to look into the official behavior of public officers & employees or policy decisions or official directions that unduly affect the citizens & the country to the detriment of good governance.
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.
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.