Neptali Gonzales

Neptali Alvaro Gonzales (June 10, 1923 – September 16, 2001), better known as Neptali Gonzales, Sr., was the President of the Philippine Senate from 1992 to 1993, 1995 to 1996, and 1998.

Neptali Gonzales
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Neptali Gonzales Monument at Barangay Maysilo Circle Monuments Plainview Mandaluyong City Hall
15th, 17th and 19th President of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
January 26, 1998 – June 30, 1998
Preceded byErnesto Maceda
Succeeded byMarcelo Fernan
In office
August 29, 1995 – October 10, 1996
Preceded byEdgardo Angara
Succeeded byErnesto Maceda
In office
January 1, 1992[1] – January 18, 1993
Preceded byJovito Salonga
Succeeded byEdgardo Angara
Senate Minority Leader
In office
October 10, 1996 – January 26, 1998
Preceded byEdgardo Angara
Succeeded byErnesto Maceda
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 1987 – June 30, 1998
Secretary of Justice
In office
February 28, 1986 – March 8, 1987
PresidentCorazon Aquino
Preceded byEstelito Mendoza
Succeeded bySedfrey Ordoñez
Mambabatas Pambansa (Assemblyman) from San Juan–Mandaluyong
In office
June 30, 1984 – March 25, 1986
Preceded byDistrict established
Succeeded byRonaldo Zamora[a]
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Rizal's 1st District
In office
December 30, 1969 – September 23, 1972
Preceded byEddie Ilarde
Succeeded byPost dissolved[b]
Vice Governor of Rizal
In office
December 30, 1967 – December 30, 1969
GovernorIsidro Rodriguez
Personal details
Neptali Alvaro Gonzales

(1923-06-10)June 10, 1923
San Felipe Neri, Rizal, Insular Government of the Philippine Islands
DiedSeptember 16, 2001(2001-09-16) (aged 78)
Makati, Philippines
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Candida Medina
Children4 (including Neptali II)
ProfessionLawyer, Politician

Early life and careerEdit

Neptali Alvaro Gonzales was born in 1923. He graduated class valedictorian in the Philippine Law School. He placed 9th in the 1949 bar examinations with the grade of 92.50%.

He practiced law and for 31 years, and was a professor and reviewer in many leading law schools. He wrote five law books used by law students and practitioners. He was Dean of the Far Eastern University Institute of Law from 1976 to 1986.

He was elected Vice-Governor of the Province of Rizal from 1967–1969, Congressman of the First District of Rizal from 1969–1973 and the Congressional District of the Philippines with three cities and ten municipalities, Assemblyman for the District of Mandaluyong-San Juan (1984–1986) and Senator for two consecutive terms (1987–1998). Before his election as Senator, he was appointed Minister, later Secretary of Justice (1986–1987) by then President Corazon C. Aquino.

During Martial Law, he was the one of its active critics from the opposition and lawyered for some political detainees including then Senator Ninoy Aquino.

He had a distinguished career in law as professor, and dean of the Institute of Law at the Far Eastern University and bar reviewer in different schools.

Senate PresidencyEdit

First term (1992-1993)Edit

He first served as Senate President, from January 1, 1992 to January 18, 1993. He also served as the Minority Leader of the Senate's Progressive Coalition from October 10, 1996 to January 26, 1998.

Senator Gonzales was the permanent delegate of the Congress of the Philippines to the century-old Inter-Parliamentary Union and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. He was also a delegate to the International Labor Organization.

Second term (1995-1996)Edit

He again served as Senate President from August 29, 1995 to October 10, 1996.

For his outstanding achievements and contributions in the fields of law, education, and public service, he was conferred the degrees of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, both by the University of Bohol and the University of Misamis (1987); Doctor of Public Administration, honoris causa, by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (1991); and Doctor of Technology Education, honoris causa, by the Rizal Technological Colleges (1995). He was also a recipient of the "Dr. M.V. Delos Santos Memorial Medallion of Honor" by the University of Manila in 1996.

Gonzales earned the distinction of having sponsored the General Appropriations Bill from 1988–1992, 1994 and 1998, considered as the most important pieces of legislation.

As a Senator of the Republic, some of the numerous laws he principally authored/sponsored include Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6735, a law providing for a system of initiative and referendum; R.A. 6826, a law authorizing the President of the Philippines to exercise powers necessary and proper during a national emergency; R.A. 6981, a law providing for a "Witness Protection, Security and Benefits Program;" R.A. 7056, a law providing for synchronized and simultaneous national and local elections beginning 1995; R.A. 7309, a law providing for a victim compensation program to indemnify victims of violent crimes through a Board of Claims; R.A. 7323, a law institutionalizing the "Special Program for Employment of Students" (SPES) during summer and Christmas vacations; R.A. 7655, a law increasing the minimum wage of househelpers; R.A. 7876, an act establishing a senior citizens center in all cities and municipalities of the Philippines; R.A. 7904, a law requiring Comelec to furnish every registered voter with an official sample ballot, voter's information sheet and list of candidates; R.A. 8191, a law prescribing measures for the prevention and control of diabetes mellitus and providing for the creation of a National Commission on Diabetes; R.A. 8247, a law extending up to June 30, 1997 the deadline for the filing of applications for legal residence of illegal aliens; R.A. 8249, a law expanding the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan; and R.A. 8291, the Revised GSIS Act of 1997.

Third term (1998)Edit

He again served as Senate President from January 26, 1998 to June 30, 1998.

Having been elected Senate president for the third time, he holds the distinction of presiding Congress twice in the canvassing of votes for president and vice president in 1992 (election of Fidel V. Ramos), and in 1998 (election of Joseph Estrada).

Post-Senate PresidencyEdit

After Gonzales' third and last term as Senate President, and his term as a senator, his public service ended on June 30, 1998. Gonzales then entered the corporate world by becoming the President and Publisher of the Manila Bulletin, one of the country's leading newspaper and was elected as member of its governing Board of Directors.


Gonzales died on September 16, 2001, aged 78. His body lays in their family estate in Mandaluyong.

Personal lifeEdit

Gonzales was married to Candida Medina for more than fifty years and was the father of four children: Myrna, Aida, Rhodora and Neptali II.. His family remains a major pillar of life.

In recognition of his strong adherence to family values, he was presented with the "1994 ASEAN Father for Public Service Award" and the "1996 Ama ng Bayan Award" by the Golden Mother & Father Foundation and the "1996 Special Ideal Parents Award" from the Ideal Community Foundation of the Philippines and the Golden Mother & Father Foundation, and the "1996 Golden Parents Special Award" from the Golden Mother & Father Foundation.

He authored books on constitutional Law, Political Law, Administrative Law and Public Corporations.


  • 1994 ASEAN Father for Public Service Award
  • 1996 Ama ng Bayan Award by the Golden Mother & Father Foundation
  • 1996 Special Ideal Parents Award from the GMFF and the Ideal Community Foundation of the Philippines
  • 1996 Golden Parents Special Award from the GMFF
  • 1996 - "Dr. M.V. Delos Santos Memorial Medallion of Honor" by the University of Manila


  1. ^ As Member of the Philippine House of Representatives
  2. ^ Gonzales' term ended when Congress was officially dissolved due to Martial Law.


  1. ^ "Biography of Senate President Gonzales - Senate of the Philippines". Retrieved 2011-11-05.