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Monument of Evelio B. Javier in San Jose, Antique.
|Governor of Antique|
December 30, 1971 – December 30, 1980
|Succeeded by||Arturo Pacificador|
October 14, 1942|
|Died||February 11, 1986
San Jose, Antique
|Political party||Liberal Party|
|Spouse(s)||Precious Bello Lotilla|
|Children||Francis Gideon Everardo Javier
|Alma mater||Ateneo de Manila University|
|Occupation||lawyer, civil servant|
Evelio Bellaflor Javier (October 14, 1942 – February 11, 1986) was a Filipino lawyer, civil servant, politician, and an opposition leader during the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. His assassination on February 11, 1986, allegedly by allies of Marcos[who?], was one of the sparks of the People Power Revolution later that month.
Early life and marriage
Evelio Javier was born on October 14, 1942, in Barangay Lanag (now Brgy. Evelio Javier), Hamtic, Antique, to Everardo Autajay Javier (Moscoso), a prosecutor and Feliza Bellaflor, a teacher. He finished grade school in San Jose Elementary School in San Jose, Antique and graduated high school with first honors and college in Ateneo de Manila University. There, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Government and he earned his Bachelor of Laws at Ateneo Law School in 1968. He passed the bar examination in 1968 before he became a college professor at the Ateneo, a successful lawyer and entered into politics. He was a member of the law school's Fraternal Order of Utopia.
His term as civil servant
Javier ran for governor of Antique and won in 1971 by one of the largest margins in history, making him, at the age of 28, the Philippines' youngest governor. He did not run again for election in 1980. Instead he attended the JFK School of Government at Harvard University in 1981 on a scholarship, where he earned a Masters in Public Administration. He ran for Assemblyman at the Batasang Pambansa, but he lost. Five years later, months after his death, he was declared the winner by the Commission on Elections.
At 10:00 in the morning of February 11, 1986, three or four masked gunmen riding in a Nissan Patrol Jeep went to the New Capitol building in San Jose, Antique. While Evelio Javier was talking to his friends on the steps in front of the capitol building, the masked gunmen opened fire.
Javier fled across a park in front of the capitol building, fell into a pond, then continued into a shop across from the park. Wounded, he tried to hide in a toilet stall at the rear of the shop. A gunman caught up to him and shot him several times through the door of the stall.
On the day of the funeral and burial to his final resting place at his hometown of San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, thousands of mourning people in Antique followed his funeral procession to the cemetery wearing yellow shirts and tying yellow bands to their wrists. They played his favorite song, "The Impossible Dream," during the procession to the cemetery. Thousands of Antiquenos there showed their anger and sorrow by crying "Justice for Evelio! We love you!" on the day of his death.
Javier was one of many politicians murdered during the period of martial law in the Philippines. His funeral surpassed that of Benigno Aquino, Jr., assassinated three years earlier in 1983.
The assassination of Evelio Javier on Feb. 11, 1986 fueled the People Power Revolution on Saturday, February 22, 1986. Evelio's body processed through Manila, passing Ateneo de Manila University where he had thousands of friends and colleagues, days before the Feb. 22 People Power Revolution that ousted Ferdinand Marcos and made Cory Aquino the President of the Philippines.
The day of his death is known as Governor Evelio B. Javier Day and is a special non-working public holiday in the provinces of Antique, Capiz, Aklan, and Iloilo, the four provinces on Panay island.
In September 1986, Isagani Cruz wrote about Javier at the end of his decision in Javier vs. COMELEC:
Let us first say these meager words in tribute to a fallen hero who was struck down in the vigor of his youth because he dared to speak against tyranny. Where many kept a meekly silence for fear of retaliation and still others feigned and fawned in hopes of safety and even reward, he chose to fight. He was not afraid. Money did not tempt him. Threats did not daunt him. Power did not awe him. His was a singular and all-exacting obsession: the return of freedom to his country. And though he fought not in the barricades of war amid the sound and smoke of shot and shell, he was a soldier nonetheless, fighting valiantly for the liberties of his people against the enemies of his race, unfortunately, of his race too, who would impose upon the land a perpetual night of dark enslavement. He did not see the breaking of dawn, sad to say, but in the very real sense Evelio B. Javier made that dawn draw nearer because he was, like Saul and Jonathan, “swifter than eagles and stronger than lions."
An airport, Evelio Javier Airport, in San Jose, Antique, was named in honor of Evelio.
- Palisada, Stanley (02/11/2011). "Remembering Evelio Javier". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 8 February 2013. Check date values in:
- "Evelio B. Javier, Utopia Batch 1965". The Fraternal Order of Utopia. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- "Evelio B. Javier: 20th year of tribute to heroism". The News Today. February 3, 2006. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- AN ACT DECLARING FEBRUARY 11 OF EACH YEAR GOVERNOR EVELIO B. JAVIER DAY, A SPECIAL NON-WORKING PUBLIC HOLIDAY IN THE PROVINCES OF ANTIQUE, CAPIZ, AKLAN AND ILOILO, June 3, 1992, retrieved 2008-06-16
- Gangland Politics Time magazine Monday, Feb. 24, 1986