Raul Maravilla Gonzalez (December 3, 1930 – September 7, 2014) was the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and was the Secretary of Justice of the Philippines.
He was replaced by Agnes Devanadera in 2009 from the orders of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Gonzalez was born on December 3, 1930 in La Carlota, Negros Occidental.
He was the fourth child of Delfin Quimbiong Gonzalez (son of Leon Gonzalez and Felisa Quimbiong), the last mayor of the former town of Jaro in the province of Iloilo; and Maria Estrella Jover Maravilla (daughter of Tranquilino Maravilla and Consuelo Jover), a school teacher who were married on April 3, 1925 in Iloilo City.
Gonzalez completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Colegio de San Agustin (now University of San Agustin) and his Bachelor of Law degree at the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law in 1955.
Gonzales took the Philippine Bar Examination in 1955 and in the same year, passed with a grade of 99% in Remedial Law and 95% in International Law. He also topped the Judge Advocate General’s Office (JAGO) Examinations.
After passing the Bar, Gonzalez became professor of law in the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law, the Far Eastern University Institute of Law, and the Philippine College of Commerce (now Polytechnic University of the Philippines).
He was also a professorial lecturer at the Philippine Normal University-Manila Graduate School, Assumption College and the College of Holy Spirit. He also lectured in the University of the Philippines Law Center Division of Continuing Legal Education.
Gonzales served in the Philippine government in various capacities. He started as a Legal Assistant to the Governor of Iloilo in 1960 before serving as Senior Legal Assistant to the Mayor of Manila in 1961.
Gonzales was Executive Member of the Board of Censors for Motion Pictures under the Office of the President from 1963 to 1969, and Senior Committee Counsel to the Committees on Labor and Immigration in the Philippine Senate, among other positions.
Gonzales fought the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos by filing several petitions before the Supreme Court when only a few dared.
These cases are now part of constitutional law and are part of the curriculum of every law school in the Philippines.
In 1989, after the restoration of democracy, Gonzalez was suspended by the Supreme Court from the practice of law for an indefinite period as a Tanodbayan for ignorance of the law.He denied that he asked the Supreme Court to lift his suspension but according to the decision, penned by Justice Campos He was reinstated four years later, in 1993.
Gonzales entered politics in 1995, running for and winning the lone congressional seat of Iloilo City. He was one of the public prosecutors during the impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada. He helped expose the corruption of Estrada and bring about the latter’s removal.
Following 2004 election, he was hounded by vote-buying controversies after he promised barangay captains from the city of Iloilo to deliver 12-0 senatorial sweep for the administrations party in the midterm elections. The sweep did not occur.
He also promised another cash incentives and free trip to Hong Kong if Iloilo City Council oppositionists Perla Zulueta and Lex Tupas were not to make it to the top 12 (which they did not).
On June 4, 2008 Gonzales was appointed the Secretary of Justice by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Gonzalez is married to Dr. Pacita Trinidad, a former Representative of the second district of Zambales, with whom he has four children.
Their eldest son, Raul Gonzalez Jr., is a former Representative of Iloilo City. Another son is the current president of the National Book Development Board, an organization committed to upgrade the publishing industry in the Philippines.
Gonzalez was diagnosed end stage renal disease on September 2007. Later that year, he received a kidney transplant from his driver, Felicito Gunay.