Ferdinand Topacio

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Ferdinand S . Topacio
FST.png
Born Ferdinand Sumague Topacio
(1965-11-09) November 9, 1965 (age 49)
Cavite City, Cavite
Nationality Filipino
Occupation Lawyer, Managing partner
Known for as Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Jose Miguel Arroyo's legal counsel
Religion Iglesia ni Cristo
Spouse(s) Dinnah Cureg Aguila (m. 1997)
Relatives Imus City Mayor Homer Topacio Saquilayan (cousin)

Ferdinand Sumague Topacio is a Filipino lawyer and managing partner of the Topacio Law Office (founded 1961).[1] At present, around 40 percent of the office’s clients are pro bono.

Biography[edit]

Topacio was born on 9 November 1965 in Cavite City, the younger son of former Cavite Senior Provincial Board Member and three-term City Councilor Atty. Arturo M. Topacio, Jr. of Imus and Cavite City and of former City Treasury Administrative Officer Belen Sumague-Topacio of Tanauan, Batangas. He was named after Philippine President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, who was elected for his first term President the day Topacio was born. He graduated with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Sebastian College-Cavite in 1987, and he enrolled in Ateneo Law School but he finished his Bachelor of Laws (Honorable Mention) at the University of the East in 1992. He passed the Philippine Bar Examination the same year.[2] on 14 May 1993.

He married Dinnah Cureg Aguila of Batangas and Isabela, on 14 July 1997. His wife is a Judge of the Regional Trial Court in Manila, Branch 42.

He is reported to be an admirer of Adolph Hitler, whom he regards as a "great leader" and displays a portrait of Hitler on his office wall, and denies Hitler's role in the Holocaust[3][4]

He is a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ),[5] an influential religious organization in the Philippine Islands.

Government positions[edit]

He began his career as speech writer in the Office of the Vice-President of the Republic,[6] (1989–1991). He has been Special Legal Counsel to the Mayor of Manila (1993–1998,[7]), Chairman of Manila Athletic Sports Council,[8] (1994–98). Director in the Office of Media Affairs, Office of the Mayor of Manila, (1998), Director in the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG),(February to December, (1988), Assistant Secretary for Local Government at the DILG[9] (1989). From 2008 to 2009 he was Secretary-General of the Chinatown Development Authority of Manila.

Cases handled[edit]

Topacio undertakes extensive pro bono publico work: the U.E. Legal Aid Clinic, Katapat Legal Aid (under ABS-CBN), Pasang Masda Jeepney Driver’s Organization, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC),[10] the Sulongbayan Movement and Barangay Youth Against Graft and Corruption (BAYAGCO) He is counsel of Col. Cezar O. Mancao II,[11] principal witness against Sen. Panfilo Lacson in the Dacer-Corbito Double Murder Case.[12] However, he withdrew from the case last 3 July 2012, citing "awkwardness" in his relationship with the Department of Justice after subsequently appearing on behalf of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo in a string of cases filed by the government against him.[13] He was Lead Counsel in Marcos v. Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) (G.R. No. 166910)169917), companion case to Francisco v. Toll Regulatory Board, which questioned the constitutionality of the transfer of the Philippine National Construction Corporation toll franchise to a private corporation. He is Lead Counsel for Pasang Masda in Social Justice Movement v. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum, et al., where he succeeded in temporarily halting oil price hike for close to six months and in having the Supreme Court declare that oil companies’ books may be subject to audit.

He also works for show-business personalities. He is Counsel of teen star Yasmien Kurdi[14] in a string of sexual harassment cases against another actor Baron Geisler[15] in 2009, and of actress Angelica Jones in her electoral protest for a seat in the Provincial Board of Laguna (1st District) in 2007. On 11 October 2011, the case against Baron Geisler was settled amicably after he publicly apologized to Yasmien Kurdi in a press conference.[16] On January 2013, he served as lawyer of Sarah Lahbati to her case against GMA Network due to her alleged disloyalty with the network.[17] In July 2013, his legal services were also secured by multi-awarded actress Claudine Barretto, dubbed by entertainment press as “The Optimum Star,” to represent her in petition for temporary protection order (TPO), permanent protection order (PPO) and custody of her children against her husband, actor Raymart Santiago, before the Marikina Regiona Trial Court.[18]

As a defense attorney, he is lead counsel for Jaime Paule, principal witness in the so-called Fertilizer Fund Scam hearings[19] held before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in 2009. He was lead defense Counsel for Lope Jimenez,[20] one of the principal accused in the Ruby Rose Barrameda Murder Case, who was consequently excluded from the Information by the Department of Justice.[21] He is the lead defense counsel for former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes[22] in the Ortega Murder Case,[23] which resulted in Reyes’ being exonerated.[24][25] He is under retainer as defense counsel for former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Chairman Efraim Genuino[26]

As a public interest lawyer, he was one of the Petitioners in the Supreme Court case of Topacio v. House of Representatives which questioned the so-called “One Hundred Thousand Peso Hocus-Bonus” of Congressmen in 1991, where he succeeded in having the members of the House return their “Christmas bonuses” and obtained a pronouncement from the Supreme Court that such “bonuses” cannot be granted to Congressmen. He was one of the Counsels of the City of Manila in the cases for the closure of nightclubs and beer houses in the Ermita-Malate District in 1992, and in the successful recovery from foreclosure of the historic Manila Metropolitan Theater. He was lead counsel for Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte in the fight to prevent the division of Camarines Sur.[27]

He has also dealt with election issues[28] for former Batangas Gov. Armand C. Sanchez (+),[29] former Palawan Gov. Joel T. Reyes,[30] Negros Occidental Congressmen Jing Paras and Masbate Congressman Antonio Kho, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and other public figures, especially to his distant cousin Homer Saquilayan.

Counsel for Jose Miguel Arroyo[edit]

Topacio is legal counsel for former Philippine First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo. He represented Arroyo in his petition before the Supreme Court asking that Department Circular No. 41 of the Department of Justice be invalidated for being unconstitutional. He also filed a separate case before the Supreme Court questioning the legality of a joint order of the Justice Department and the Commission on Elections creating a joint panel to investigate allegations of poll fraud during the 2004 and 2007 general elections. Department of Justice. Topacio himself paid the 2 million peso bond required by the Supreme Court after it issued a temporary restraining order on 15 November 2011 allowing the former President to leave the country.[31] After Arroyo was refused departure from the country despite the Supreme Court order, Topacio expressed confidence that his client would return to the country if allowed departure, and announced in a televised interview that should Arroyo not return to the Philippines, he would have one of his testicles removed.[32][33][34] Counsel of Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo. This remark was widely publicized in media, and commented upon in the social media site Twitter where it “trended” for some time.[35] The former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was subsequently arrested on 18 November 2011 for the crime of "Electoral Sabotage" which carries a penalty of life imprisonment and detained under Hospital Arrest at Veterans Memorial Medical Center.[36] On 25 July 2012, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was released upon posting a 1 Million Peso cash bail after the Pasay Regional Trial Court found the evidence against her “weak.” [37]

Counsel for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo[edit]

Topacio became a member of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s legal team in March 2013, when he was asked to represent her in a plunder case filed against her and her son, incumbent Camarines Sur Congressman Dato Arroyo in connection with the Libmanan-Cabusao Dam Project.[38][39] The case is now pending before the Ombudsman. He also appears for Mrs. Arroyo in a civil suit for damages in connection with the Maguindanao Massacre filed by the heirs of some of the victims thereof, in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.[40]

Civic and professional activities[edit]

He has been the lecturer for continuing legal education courses, at the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) seminars of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) He is a Professorial Lecturer in Commercial Law at the New Era University College of Law (June 2010 to the present).

He is Past President of the Rotary Club of Grace Park, Caloocan (District 3800). He is Vice-President of the SulongBayan Movement and a Lifetime Member of the Philippine Constitutional Association (Philconsa) and the Circulo Caviteño, He is volunteer legal counsel for the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).[41] and the Pasang Masda, a nationwide jeepney drivers’ organization. He was head of the Katapat Legal Assistance Program and a member of the UE Legal Aid Clinic. He is one of the lead conveners of the People’s Movement for Justice (PMJ), a coalition working for reforms in the country’s justice system.[42]

Topacio is a regular columnist of the daily tabloid Dyaryong Pinoy with his column, On Second Thought. He had a legal advice column in the daily tabloid Commuter Express from 2008 to 2010 and in January 2011. He was a columnist of the tabloids Barako, Banat, and Iskandal, and co-anchored several public affairs shows on radio.

In business, he is Vice-President for Legal Affairs and Director of Noxelle Properties, Inc., Vice-President for Legal Affairs of XRC Resources, Inc., Director of Galaxy Cable Corporation, Inc. and Galaxy Corporation (Subic), Inc., and Senior Consultant of Eyespy Detectives and Investigators.

Topacio is a jazz singer,[43] being the featured vocalist at Merk’s Place, Pasay Road, Makati on Wednesdays. In the 1980s he was the vocalist of the late Eli Saison[44] at the Concourse Lounge at the then Manila Garden Hotel (now Dusit Hotel) in Makati. He continues to perform in locales in and around Metro Manila s with his band “The Jazz Holes.”

Together with Bea Binene), he launched the Bea Binene Cares Foundation last 20 December 2011 in Sto. Tomas town in Batangas Province, where 600 children from the poorest communities in the said town were given clothing, toys and food. The said Foundation is also slated to undertake other projects for 2012, some in coordination with the GMA 7 Kapuso Foundation, mostly with poor children as beneficiaries. In June 2012, rumors began circulating about Topacio’s supposed affair with Binene, with Topacio being supposedly the benefactor of Binene, who had given her an expensive condominium unit and produced her music album, but both denied the same.[45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52] [53]

The relationship between Topacio and Binene took a bizarre turn when Topacio assisted Binene and her mother Carina in filing a complaint before the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) for “child abuse” against one Dan Christian Villanueva, a disc jockey from radio station DWLS-FM, whom Binene alleged to be stalking and threatening her with alleged sex videos.[54] After a few days, Carina Binene held a press conference together with top executives of GMA Channel 7, under whom Binene was under contract as a talent, denying that Binene authorized Topacio to file the said complaint, saying that Topacio was not their lawyer.[55][56] Topacio thereafter held his own press conference on 4 October 2012 rebutting the allegations of the Binenes, and revealing that he had given them money on several occasions. He demanded a public apology from the Binenes, and threatened legal action if they refused.[57][58] With no apology forthcoming.,[59] Topacio filed a 5.7 million damage suit in his hometown of Batangas Province against Binene, her mother, their lawyer and two GMA Channel 7 executives for damages due to “besmirched reputation".[60][61] In March 2014, Topacio and Binene came to a settlement whereby Binene paid Topacio an undisclosed sum for damages, after which both parties withdrew their cases against each other.[62][63]

Topacio was later on romantically linked to another young actress, Marvelous Alejo, a finalist of the talent search “Artista Academy” that aired on TV5,[64] but he publicly denied the rumor,insisting that he was only interested in producing a music album for the budding star.[65][66][67] Shortly after taking on the case of Claudine Barretto, rumors also circulated regarding an affair with her.[68][69] The two, however, firmly denied the same,with Barretto saying that Topacio was only “her best friend and protector.”[70] Topacio also repeatedly explained that there was nothing but friendship between him and the box office star.[71] On November 6, 2012, the party-list group PASANG MASDA, of which he was the second nominee for a congressional seat, was disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).[72][73] The group has appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which issued a status quo ante order allowing PASANG MASDA to participate in the 2013 elections pending resolution of its petition.[74][75][76] It started its campaign on 14 February 2013 in Bacoor, Cavite with a bikini competition to determine the new Miss Pasang Masda in preparation for its nationwide campaign stump.

At present, Topacio is helping the Party List group LADLAD, the world’s first ever political party composed of homosexuals and bisexuals headed by Prof. Danton Remoto, in drafting and lobbying for legislation that will grant greater rights for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders (LGBT’s).[77] On April 4, 2013, during a LADLAD fund-raising affair at the Rembrandt Hotel, Topacio was proclaimed by the group’s leadership as the country’s first “Honorary Gay.”

Topacio has been featured in several top-rated magazine and talk shows, among which are Boy Abunda’s “Bottomline”[78] and Anthony Taberna’s “Tapatan,[79] both on ABS-CBN Channel 2; Jove Francisco’s “Anggulo,” Vic Agustin’s “Cocktails”[80] and Lourd de Veyra’s “Wasak,” both on Channel 5;[81][82] And Mel Tiangco’s “Powerhouse".[83] The love story of him and his wife has also been dramatized on the show “Wagas” which airs on GMA News Television.[84]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mark and Ivan (9 March 2011). "Business Insight | DUCKY PAREDES". Malaya (newspaper). Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Profile of Atty. Ferdinand S. Topacio". PhilippineLaw.info. 12 May 1993. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/lifestyle/01/02/12/topacio-under-fire-idolizing-hitler
  4. ^ http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/01/02/12/topacio-defends-hitler-anew
  5. ^ http://www.rappler.com/nation/612-ferdinand-topacio-and-adolf-hitler
  6. ^ "COCKTALES – Reading Between the (Head) Lines » Blog Archive » Target: Topacio". Cocktales.ph. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  7. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1370&dat=19970920&id=oY8VAAAAIBAJ&sjid=bQsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6453,2076738
  8. ^ "Article: PSC should divorce sports from politics. | AccessMyLibrary – Promoting library advocacy". AccessMyLibrary. 25 March 2002. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "CamSur is No. 1 tourist draw in 2010 | Inquirer Business". Business.inquirer.net. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Top Stories (29 June 2011). "Webb calls detractors 'evil,' wants De Lima disbarred". Philippine News. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "Dacers, Mancao taking case vs Lacson to Supreme Court". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  12. ^ by rockymickeyquick on Sun, 20 September 2009 – 21:35 (20 September 2009). "Mancao lawyer dares Lacson: Let's take lie-detector tests! | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Topacio quits as Mancao lawyer, blames DOJ 'inexplicable inaction'". 
  14. ^ "Ang bastos mo! Yasmien accuses Baron of lewd acts – Entertainment – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News". Gmanews.tv. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Warrant of arrest issued for Baron Geisler, Yasmien Kurdi's lawyer urges him to turn himself in | The Feed". Spot.ph. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Yasmien Kurdi agrees to withdraw lawsuits vs Baron Geisler". 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ http://entertainment.inquirer.net/105455/claudine- barreto-seeks-court-protection-order-vs-raymart
  19. ^ http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/2008/dec/23/politics1.htm
  20. ^ "DOJ starts probe of Ruby Rose case". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  21. ^ "Lope Jimenez cleared in Ruby Rose slay". The Philippine Star. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  22. ^ "Ex-Palawan governor questions new probe on Ortega slay » Nation » News | Philippine News". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "Ortega family seeks new probe » Nation » News | Philippine News". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  24. ^ Hector Lawas (20 April 2011). "Bribe claim slammed | National". Journal.com.ph. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "DOJ forms new panel on Ortega murder case | Inquirer News". Newsinfo.inquirer.net. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Genuino camp accuses Aquino admin of trial by publicity | Health 7800". Health7800.com. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  27. ^ Mark and Ivan (26 August 2011). "Business Insight | DUCKY PAREDES". Malaya (newspaper). Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  28. ^ "COMELEC not keen on investigating their ranks". thephilippinebusinessandnewsforum. 8 March 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  29. ^ "Court upholds no-bail warrant against Recto". Manila Standard Today. 1 June 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  30. ^ http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/2008/mar/29/politics4.htm
  31. ^ "Arroyo couple to try to fly again today". Sun Star. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  32. ^ "Topacio: Papatanggal ko yung isang itlog ko kapag hindi bumalik ang mga Arroyo. I am confident they will return.". Twitter. 16 November 2011. 
  33. ^ "Topacio: I'll have my 'ball' cut off if Arroyos don't return". ABS-CBN News Online. 16 November 2011. 
  34. ^ "After failed attempt, Arroyos planning to leave again". Sun Star. 16 November 2011. 
  35. ^ "Topacio's testicles twitted on Twitter". 
  36. ^ "TIMELINE: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s arrest". 
  37. ^ "Gloria Arroyo posts ₱1-million bail and is now back in her Quezon City home after 8 months of hospital detention". 
  38. ^ http://www.interaksyon.com/article/56415/gloria-arroyo-son-dato-charged-with-p676-m-plunder
  39. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/297742/news/nation/gloria-arroyo- son-face-plunder-raps-for-botched-camsur-projects
  40. ^ http://www.philstar.com/breaking-news/750494/gloria-arroyo-faces-p16-m-civil-suit-maguindanao-massacre
  41. ^ Requejo, Rey E. "2011/february/18". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  42. ^ "Letter to a guy named B. R. Od". Batasmedia.yolasite.com. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  43. ^ "This lawyer sings jazz". Cerphin.net. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  44. ^ "The songs that Mancao's lawyer sings". Telebisyon.net. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  45. ^ F.R. Jimenez (20 December 2011). "Bea Biniene, the next Mel Tiangco?". GMA News. 
  46. ^ "Topacio: Teen actress is special to me". 
  47. ^ "Arroyo lawyer Topacio, nilinaw ang relasyon sa Kapuso young star Bea Binene". 
  48. ^ "BEA BINENE kabit daw ng mayamang D.O.M.?". 
  49. ^ "KOTSE NI 'ATORNI' IPINAHIRAM KAY BEA BINENE!". 
  50. ^ "Lawyer denies falling in love with young actress". 
  51. ^ "Malicious rumor vs Bea angers her mom". 
  52. ^ "Bea Binene, naloka sa tsismis sa kanila ni Atty. Ferdie Topacio!". 
  53. ^ "Atty. Ferdinand Topacio Denied Rumored Romance with Bea Binene". 
  54. ^ Ramos, Marlon. "2012/September/20". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  55. ^ "Controversial Arroyo lawyer sues actress Bea Binene, mother, GMA lawyer, execs". 
  56. ^ "Bea Binene’s mother denies filing child abuse case against radio jock Papa Dan". 
  57. ^ "Atty. Ferdinand Topacio wants public apology from Bea Binene and her mother". 
  58. ^ "Lawyer wants Bea to apologize". 
  59. ^ "No public apology for Atty. Ferdinand Topacio says Bea Binene: "Wala po akong dahilan para mag-apologize".". 
  60. ^ "Lawyer files charges vs Bea’s camp". 
  61. ^ "Atty. Ferdinand Topacio files P5.7-M civil case against Bea Binene and her mother". 
  62. ^ https://ph.celebrity.yahoo.com/news/bea-binene--topacio-settle-differences-060911705.html
  63. ^ (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://bandera.inquirer.net/59543/atty-topacio-inurong-ang-p5-7-m-civil-case-laban-kay-bea
  64. ^ "‘Artista Academy’ introduces 16 finalists, battle for P20 million begins". 
  65. ^ "Marvelous-bagong-inspirasyon-ni-Atty-Topacio/". 
  66. ^ "marvelous-alejo-gets-her-career-going-ahead-of-her-artista-academy-batchmates/". 
  67. ^ "after-bea-binene-marvelous-alejo-nali-link-kay-atty-ferdinand-topacio". 
  68. ^ http://www.pinoystop.com/news/celebrity/1941/rumors-about-claudine-barretto-and-atty-ferdinand-topacio-spreads-like-wildfire
  69. ^ (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.centralluzondaily.net/claudine-in-illicit-love-affair-with-atty-topacio/)
  70. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/324140/showbiz/claudine-barretto-on-atty-ferdinand-topacio-he-s-my-best-friend-and-protector
  71. ^ http://www.remate.ph/2013/09/pagtulong-ni-atty-topacio-kay-claudine-walang-malisya/
  72. ^ "Topacio a jeepney driver, operator: Pasang Masda". 
  73. ^ "Partylist group ni Atty. Topacio, diniskuwalipika". 
  74. ^ "Pasang Masda Party-list pasok sa listahan ng Comelec". 
  75. ^ "It’s final: SC gives 53 party-list groups reprieve". 
  76. ^ "Pasang Masda, pumasa sa Comelec". 
  77. ^ "ang-ladlad-applies-for-accreditation-as-partylist". 
  78. ^ http://lionheartv.net/2012/08/cgmas-lawyer-atty-ferdinand-topacio.html
  79. ^ http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/11/21/13/topacios-ultimate-dream-become-pnoys-lawyer
  80. ^ https://www.facebook.com/CocktalesonAksyonTV
  81. ^ http://www.watchpinoytube.com/tv5/anggulo/29337/anggulo:-ferdinand-topacio-december-7-2011.html
  82. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QcuKt22Xmo
  83. ^ https://www.facebook.com/newstv/posts/343550522353825GMA
  84. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/356306/newstv/wagas/atty-ferdinand-amp-judge-dinnah-topacio-love-story-sa-wagas

External links[edit]