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Antique observes Evelio Javier Day

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Despite the fall of the Javier political dynasty, Antiqueños commemorate the 34th death anniversary of slain governor Evelio Javier today.

Javier’s younger brother former Antique Gov. Exequiel Javier, who benefited politically from the former’s assassination in 1986, has bowed out of politics after losing the congressional race to then-Senator Loren Legarda.

On one hand, his son Paolo, who served as the province’s congressman from 2010 to 2019, was also defeated by reelectionist Gov. Rhodora Cadiao in the last polls.

Today is a special non-working public holiday in Panay Island to mark Evelio’s death by virtue of Republic Act 7601 signed by then-President Corazon Aquino in 1992.

The assassination of Evelio, an Aquino supporter, was one of the events that helped spark the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (https://bit.ly/2urUZK2)

Evelio was born on October 14, 1942 in Barangay Lanag (now Barangay Evelio B. Javier) in Hamtic town. He was the eldest of four children of Everardo Javier, a prosecutor, and Feliza Bellaflor, a teacher.

The local hero spent his college years at the Ateneo de Manila University then finished his Law degree in the same school in 1968. He passed the bar examination in the same year.

In 1971, Evelio ran in for governor of Antique and won – becoming the Philippines’ youngest governor at the age of 28. He served that post until 1980.

On February 11, 1986, while talking to Aquino supporters at the San Jose provincial capitol, some three to four masked gunmen attacked him.

The 43-year-old Javier fled across a park (now Evelio B. Javier Freedom Park), fell in a pond, and then continued to run to a comfort room of a shop where he was cornered and finished off.

His killers are detained at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.