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|Ferdinand S . Topacio|
Ferdinand Sumague Topacio|
9 November 1965
Cavite City, Cavite
|Occupation||Lawyer, Managing partner|
|Known for||Legal counsel for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Jose Miguel Arroyo|
|Spouse(s)||Dinnah Cureg Aguila (m. 1997)|
|Relatives||Imus City Mayor Homer Topacio Saquilayan (cousin)|
Ferdinand Sumague Topacio (born 9 November 1965) is a Filipino lawyer and managing partner of his own eponymous law office (founded 1961). At present, around 40 percent of the office's clients are pro bono.
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. He then 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. 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 began his career as speech writer in the Office of the Vice-President of the Republic, (1989–1991). He has been Special Legal Counsel to the Mayor of Manila (1993–1998,), Chairman of Manila Athletic Sports Council, (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 (1989). From 2008 to 2009 he was Secretary-General of the Chinatown Development Authority of Manila.
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), the Sulongbayan Movement and Barangay Youth Against Graft and Corruption (BAYAGCO) He is counsel of Col. Cezar O. Mancao II, principal witness against Sen. Panfilo Lacson in the Dacer-Corbito Double Murder Case. 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. 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 in a string of sexual harassment cases against another actor Baron Geisler 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. On January 2013, he served as lawyer of Sarah Lahbati to her case against GMA Network due to her alleged disloyalty with the network. 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.
As a defense attorney, he is lead counsel for Jaime Paule, principal witness in the so-called Fertilizer Fund Scam hearings held before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in 2009. He was lead defense Counsel for Lope Jimenez, one of the principal accused in the Ruby Rose Barrameda Murder Case, who was consequently excluded from the Information by the Department of Justice. He is the lead defense counsel for former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes in the Ortega Murder Case, which resulted in Reyes' being exonerated. He is under retainer as defense counsel for former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Chairman Efraim Genuino.
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.
He has also dealt with election issues for former Batangas Gov. Armand C. Sanchez (+), former Palawan Gov. Joel T. Reyes, 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
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.
After Arroyo was denied the right to departure 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. 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.
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. 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." 
Counsel for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
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. 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.
Civic and professional activities
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). 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.
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, 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 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 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. 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).
The group 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. 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 transgender people. 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" and Anthony Taberna's "Tapatan, both on ABS-CBN Channel 2; Jove Francisco's "Anggulo," Vic Agustin's "Cocktails" and Lourd de Veyra's "Wasak," both on Channel 5; And Mel Tiangco's "Powerhouse". The love story of him and his wife has also been dramatized on the show "Wagas" which airs on GMA News Television.
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