MANILA, Philippines – The friendship between former national security adviser Norberto Gonzales and Sulu Sultan Jamalul III dates back to the time of the Marcos regime, a former police intelligence officer told Radyo INQUIRER 990 AM on Tuesday.
Gonzales served during the administration of former President now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In the Radyo INQUIRER interview, Retired Police Director Rodolfo “Boogie” Mendoza said he knew that Gonzales owed the sultanate for extending assistance and protection to the former national security adviser when he went in hiding in Sabah during the martial law period.
“May utang na loob si Gonzales [sa Sultanate of Sulu] dahil sa panahong hinahanap sila noong Marcos regime, nagbase sa Sabah ang grupo ni Norberto noon (Gonzales owes a debt-of-gratitude to the sultanate because during the Marcos regime, their group was based there in Sulu),” recalled the security expert.
He said the Kiram family helped Gonzales, who was then on the military’s watch-list.
Mendoza said, “If you trace history, na-maintain [ni Gonzales] ang magandang relationship with the Sultanate of Sulu (Gonzales has maintained his good relationship with the Sultanate of Sulu [over the years]).”
Gonzales met with the Sulu sultan during the weekend and has been tagged as a possible conspirator in the Sabah standoff but this was something that the former national security adviser denied.
For more of the interview, listen to the attached audio clip from Radyo Inquirer 990AM.