Norberto Gonzales (born 17 April 1947 in Balanga, Bataan) is a former Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary and National Security Adviser under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. As a public servant and freedom fighter, he has at least 20 years of experience as a peace adviser and negotiator.
On 6 October 2021, he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president under the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (Philippine Democratic Socialist Party [PDSP]).
Aspiring to be a doctor, Gonzales finished his premed degree in Ateneo de Davao. At the height of social unrest during the second term of Ferdinand Marcos, Gonzales dropped out of a master's degree in chemistry to join the wave of protests against the government. He then took part in group protests sponsored by the several Jesuit fathers. This involvement took him to several parts of the country to help the peasant and urban poor communities. This gave birth to the Kilusan ng mga Demokratikong Sosyalista ng Pilipinas, which has evolved to the present day PDSP. Under it, Gonzales and other youngsters served as supporters of the Democratic opposition.
Gonzales also took a Master in National Security Administration Degree from the National Defense College of the Philippines.
From 1972 to 1974, he wanted to advance the rights of workers and introduced moderate labor unionism within the Bataan Export Processing Zone under the Federation of Free Workers. In 1990, along with the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and the Lakas Manggagawa Labor Center, he initiated the creation of the Workers Fund. He was instrumental in the creation of the Peasant Development Fund (PDF) and the Kapulungan ng mga Magsasaka at Mangingisda sa Pilipinas (KAMMPIL-Federation of Farmers and Fisher Folks in the Philippines).
In 1978, he was detained by then President Ferdinand Marcos for being one of the leaders of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino's LABAN in Metro Manila during the Interim Batasang Pambansa (Philippine Parliament) election. In 1990, he led the creation of the September 8 Movement, a coalition of Catholic and Protestant Church elements and other sectors of society.
In 1992, he helped establish the SAMBAYANAN, a national coalition of people’s organizations and cooperatives. He was also the co-founder of the Lakas ng EDSA (Lakas EDSA) coalition. It launched the candidacy of former President Fidel V. Ramos. In 1994, he formed the Konsensyang Pilipino (KP- Filipino Conscience), which meant to advance and uphold political and social moral order.
Gonzales was a peace adviser and negotiator for the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) – Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Peace Process; the GRP – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); and the GRP – National Democratic Front (NDF) Peace Talks. He was also a panel member of the GRP-MNLF Peace Process under then President Corazon C. Aquino.
He was the presidential adviser for Special Concerns under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, then moved on to become the national security adviser. When Arroyo was reelected, he was again assigned as chief of staff. Even while serving the government, Gonzales still pushed for pro-people programs and empowered PDSP members in their legislation.
He has also attended and participated in numerous international conferences and bilateral talks and discussions on world security issues and models of social and political development in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region.
He also initiates the organization of farmers, agricultural workers, fisher folks, urban poor, and indigenous people in Northern and Southern Mindanao, Western Visayas, Bicol, Southern Tagalog, and Central Luzon.
On 6 October 2021, Gonzales filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president under the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (Philippine Democratic Socialist Party [PDSP]).
- Gregorio, Xave.“Ex-defense chief Norberto Gonzales runs for president”. The Philippine Star. (Accessed on 10 November 2021).
- “Who is...NORBERTO B. GONZALES?”. Norberto B. Gonzales. (Accessed on 10 November 2021).
- Fucanan, Terrie B.“Chief of Staff Norberto Gonzales From the streets to government service”. The Manila Times. (Accessed on 10 November 2021).
- “Former Arroyo defense chief Norberto Gonzales guns for presidency”. Rappler. (Accessed on 10 November 2021).
- “Norberto B. Gonzales”. Prabook. (Accessed on 10 November 2021).
- Fernandez, Daniza.“Ex-defense chief files COC for president”. INQUIRER.net. (Accessed on 10 November 2021).
- Cruz, Kaithreen.“Ex-defense chief to run for president”. The Manila Times. (Accessed on 10 November 2021).
- “Former defense chief Norberto Gonzales eyes presidency in 2022 elections”. ABSCBN News. (Accessed on 10 November 2021).