February 11, Wednesday, is a special non-working holiday in the four provinces located in the island of Panay: Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo.

This is in commemoration of the 27th death anniversary of Marcos-era local opposition leader Evelio Javier. This is by virtue of Republic Act 7601 which was enacted in 1992, during the term of then-President Corazon Aquino.

evelio javier
Evelio Javier, 1942-1986 (Credits: www.thein-justiceleague.blogspot.com)

Javier was the governor of Antique from 1971 to 1980, when the Philippines was under martial law. After several years away from politics, Javier ran for the position of assemblyman in 1984 but was allegedly cheated of victory.

He was killed in February 1986 by four masked gunmen. Javier’s murder happened just four days after the snap presidential elections pitting Ferdinand Marcos against Mrs. Aquino.

Javier is allied with Aquino while his rival Arturo Pacificador threw his support behind Marcos. Pacificador was acquitted from the charges against him but in 2002, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of his bodyguards in relation to the case.  He died January 11 of this year at 84.




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