Orlando S. Mercado

Orlando Sanchez Mercado (born Orlando Mercado y Sanchez; April 26, 1946), better known as Orly Mercado, is a Filipino politician and radio broadcaster. He was a senator of the Philippines for two terms (1987–1992 and 1992–1998) and the head and anchor of the popular radio program Radyo Patrol of ABS-CBN from 1969 to 1971 as well as the field reporter for pre-Martial Law days in The World Tonight. Upon Marcos' Proclamation No. 1081 in 1972, Orly was charged for subversion under Republic Act 1700 (Anti-Subversion Law) and was detained in Fort Bonifacio then his release after nine and a half months in detention, he returned to broadcasting and started teaching. Since 1975 Mercado has been the current producer and host of GMA Network's Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko (I Love My Fellowmen), the pioneer television program in public service in the Philippines. In 1998, he was appointed Secretary of National Defense by President Joseph Estrada. On January 19, 2001, the Chief of Staff and all of the commanding generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, together with the rest of the military establishment, withdrew their support for President Estrada who was then facing impeachment for plunder and corruption. Their appearance before a throng of protesters at the EDSA Shrine was the culmination of what was to be known as EDSA People Power II (Second EDSA Revolution), which ousted President Estrada from office. Mercado was reappointed Secretary of Defense by incoming President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo but resigned the post in protest of the designation of a former Chief of Staff as National Security Adviser who was also the subject of Mercado's anti-corruption campaign in the Department of National Defense.

Orlando S. Mercado
Defense Secretary Orly Mercado.jpg
Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 1998 – January 19, 2001
PresidentJoseph Estrada
Preceded byFortunato Abat
Succeeded byVacant[1]
In office
January 22, 2001 – January 25, 2001
PresidentGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Preceded byVacant[2]
Post last held by himself
Succeeded byAngelo Reyes
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 1987 – June 30, 1998
Majority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 27, 1987 – October 31, 1989
PresidentCorazon Aquino
Preceded byVacant[3]
Post last held by Arturo Tolentino
Succeeded by Teofisto Guingona, Jr.
Mambabatas Pambansa (Assemblyman) from Quezon City
In office
June 30, 1984 – March 25, 1986
Serving with Ismael A. Mathay, Jr., Cecilia Muñoz-Palma and Alberto Romulo
Personal details
Orlando Mercado y Sanchez

(1946-04-26) April 26, 1946 (age 73)
Manila, Commonwealth of the Philippines
Spouse(s)Susan Pineda-Mercado[4]
ChildrenRenzo Orlando P. Mercado
Alma materUniversity of the Philippines
OccupationDiplomat, Politician, Professor, Broadcaster

In 2008 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo nominated Mercado as Philippine ambassador to the China (People's Republic of China), also accredited to North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and Mongolia,[6] however his nomination was objected to by Senator Jinggoy Estrada (son of President Estrada), then a member of the Commission on Appointments.[7] In 2009 he was appointed as the first permanent representative of the Philippines to ASEAN, a newly created ambassadorial post that then did not require Commission on Appointments approval.[7]

He is currently the Secretary-General of the Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration (EROPA), an organization of states, groups and individuals in the general area of Asia and the Pacific. He has taught courses in Public Administration and Communication in the University of the Philippines where he obtained all his degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Master of Arts in Communication, and Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science. He is also a faculty member at the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government. On June 17, 2013, he returned to radio broadcasting with his program "Orly Mercado: All Ready" on Radyo Singko 92.3 NewsFM.

His wife, Dr. Susan Pineda-Mercado, former Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko medical director and highest-ranking Filipina in the World Health Organization (WHO), was named Special Envoy for Global Health Initiatives by the government of the Philippines in 2018. She is the Philippine nominee for WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, a post which will be elected in the Sixty-ninth session of the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, 8-12 October in Manila, Philippines.

Television programsEdit

Year Title Role Network
1969-1972 The World Tonight Reporter ABS-CBN
1970–1971 Apat na Sulok ng Daigdig Host
1974–1975 Tipunang Bayan GMA Network
1975–present Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko
1980–1983 What's Up
1980–1984 Lasang Pinoy
1986–1987 Lunch Date
1992–1994 Kontak 5 ABC (now The 5 Network)
2008–2009 Newswatch Anchor RPN

Radio programsEdit

Year Title Role Station
2019–present Early All Ready Co-Anchor Radyo5 92.3 News FM
2013–2019 All Ready Anchor
1994-1995 Kambal Kamao DZRH
1969-1971 Radyo Patrol DZAQ
1966-1968 Night Life Disc Jockey DZXX

Significant ContributionsEdit

As Senator, among the measures he authored are:

  • Generics Drug and Medicines Act of 1988 (R.A. 6675)
  • An Act establishing provincial centres for Science and Technology (R.A. 6959)
  • Magna Carta for Disabled Persons (R.A. 7277)
  • Consumer Act of the Philippines (R.A. 7394)
  • An Act promoting Salt Iodization nationwide (R.A. 8172)
  • An Act promoting voluntary blood donation, providing for an adequate supply of safe blood, regulating blood banks, providing penalties for violations thereof (R.A. 8180)
  • Children’s Media Act of 1996 (R.A. 8370)
  • Philippine National Police Reform Act (R.A. 8851)

As Secretary/Minister of Department of National Defense, he:

  • Instituted a reorganization program in the Department of National Defense to assert civilian supremacy over the military
  • Initiated reforms in the Retirement and Separation Benefit Systems (RSBS), the pension fund of the soldiers
  • Instituted a computerization program for the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO)
  • Pioneered the use of electronic technology for procurement of equipment and supplies of the Armed Forces of the Philippines[8]

As the Philippines' first Permanent Representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he:

  • Led efforts in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to introduce transparency and accountability in the ASEAN Secretariat by way of extensive budget hearings.
  • Initiated ASEAN's strategic communication plan, which could create a level of awareness and understanding about the regional organization as an imperative in the effort to create an ASEAN Community by 2015.


  1. ^ Mercado resigned as Secretary of National Defense in part of calling the resignation of President Joseph Estrada during the EDSA Revolution II.
  2. ^ Mercado resigned as Secretary of National Defense in part of calling the resignation of President Joseph Estrada and was reappointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
  3. ^ Vacant due to the Martial Law declared by President Ferdinand Marcos.
  4. ^ "Orlando S. Mercado". Department of National Defense. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  5. ^ Bob Tabada. "Libanan’s racket". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  6. ^ gmanews.tv, Ex-defense chief of Erap named new RP envoy to China
  7. ^ a b "Mercado named ASEAN envoy". INQUIRER.net. March 11, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  8. ^ "Orlando Mercado".