Atty. Fulgencio Factoran Jr., 76

THE CENTER for Media Freedom & Responsibiltiy (CMFR) has lost a dear friend and ardent supporter of press freedom. After a period of lingering illness, Atty. Fulgencio “Jun”Factoran passed away Palm Sunday, April 5.

A lawyer, Factoran found ample space to serve the country, both in and out of government.

In the early eighties, as concerned Filipinos became more aware of persistent violations of human rights during the Marcos dictatorship, he became known to journalists as one of the founding members of the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc., better known as Mabini. As journalists were served subpoenas or threatened with arrest and detention, Mabini ably provided for their legal defense.

He gained prominence as a government official, having served first, as deputy to his colleague and close friend, Joker Arroyo, then executive secretary of President Corazon C. Aquino. As DENR secretary from 1987 to 1992, Factoran  launched the massive attempt to clean up of the Pasig River and its tributaries with the campaign “Ilog ko, Irog ko.”

Leaving public service, he continued to support various causes, providing legal counsel to crusaders working for human rights, including press freedom, and the preservation of the environment. He served on the CMFR Board of Trustees for several years.

He brought his experience and legal skills to the government corporations including the National Electrification Administration and the Philippine National Oil Company; as he did to a number of private enterprises. He was managing partner of Factoran & Associates Law Office.

Journalists will remember how much he thrived on good talk and the lively exchange of ideas. .  He also enjoyed good food and hosted no-occasion lunches or dinners just to keep in touch, demonstrating an enviable love of life and the blessings of friendship. On these occasions, he would refer to his humble origins, saying how lucky he was to have become a student at the University of the Philippines.

From CMFR’s executive director, Melinda Quintos de Jesus, “For over 30 years, knowing Jun provided a comfort zone; he was someone you could count on —  for advice and counsel, and the much needed light moment when one could use a laugh.”