Pacificador, once most powerful in Antique, dead
ILOILO CITY—Former Antique assemblyman and incumbent provincial board member Arturo Pacificador died of cardiac arrest early on Sunday. He was 84.
Pacificador died at the Antique Medical Center in the capital town of San Jose where he was confined for a lingering heart ailment, according to his nephew Francisco Fullon Jr.
A close ally of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Pacificador was tagged as the mastermind in the Feb. 11, 1986 murder of his arch political rival, former
Antique governor Evelio Javier.
Javier was gunned down by heavily armed men at the public plaza of the capital town of San Jose during the canvassing of votes of the snap presidential elections between Marcos and the late former president Corazon Aquino.
Pacificador went into hiding after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship in the 1986 EDSA People Power I uprising but surfaced in 1995 and was detained for nine years while on trial. He has repeatedly denied any involvement in Javier’s murder.
On Oct. 12, 2004, the Antique Regional Trial Court acquitted Pacificador and three of his co-accused in the murder of Javier and the wounding of several others. But lawyer Avelino Javellana and seven others, mostly security personnel of Pacificador, were convicted.
Pacificador’s son Rodolfo Pacificador is still facing arrest. He fled to Canada and is seeking citizenship there.
Considered the most powerful man in the province during the Marcos dictatorship, Pacificador was assemblyman and majority floor leader of the Batasang Pambansa representing Antique’s lone district. He also served as deputy minister for public works and highways.
Pacificador was also acquitted in the killing of seven supporters of Javier on May 13, 1984, at the Pangpang Bridge in Sibalom town in Antique.
On March 7, 1996, the Antique RTC convicted five of Pacificador’s bodyguards of seven counts of murder and one count of frustrated murder. The Supreme Court upheld the RTC ruling on Feb. 6, 2002.
Pacificador resumed private law practice after he was released from jail in 2004 with many of his cases as pro bono. He was elected president of the Antique chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for two terms, from 2005 to 2007 and from 2009 to 2011.
He ran for various elective posts four times but lost while in detention.
He suffered a stroke in December 2012 but this did not stop him from running for and eventually winning a seat in the provincial board in the 2013 elections.
Pacificador campaigned through radio stations and with the help of supporters. He also relied on a core of supporters who gave him at least 21,000 votes every election.
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