Join the hunt with two thrilling adventures: Steel's Treasure and the newly released Steel's Gold!

The epic story of U.S. Air Force Captain William Steel, an intelligence officer with serious authority issues, and his hunt for billions of dollars of lost WWII Japanese treasure hidden in the mountainous jungles of the Philippines.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Titans of the 1980’s Philippine People Powered Revolution: Where Are They Now?

Do you recognize this distinguished looking Filipino political figure in a recent photo? I'll give you a hint, one of the characters in Steel's Treasure is loosely based on him.

If you guessed Lt. Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan, the renegade Reform the Armed Forces (RAM) leader, poster-boy for the 1987 People Powered Revolution, then you were right.  He is pictured above in the Senate where he has served since 1995. I wonder if he ever actually retired from the Philippine army and received a pension. 

A graduate of Philippine Military Academy class of ’81, Honasan figured in a series of uprisings against Marcos and then later against President Corazon Aquino, whom he helped install in 1986. He was granted amnesty in 1992 by President Fidel Ramos, a fellow soldier and key player in the first Edsa Revolution of 1986. 

While admirers regard Honasan as idealistic with a strong political will, critics view him as an agitator with a messianic complex.  Since 1995, though, voters have supported the former RAM leader, electing him to the Senate in 1995 and again in 2001 and 2007. The results of the elections on May 13th are not yet official, but all signs point to the Gringo keeping his seat for another term.

The Gringo has a twitter account, @gringo_honasan.  The banner on his site reads:  “Father of five wonderful children. Spoiling and doting grandfather of two grandchildren.”   He has been married to the same woman for a number of years.   

Here's the bio from Senator Gringo's campaign website:

He is principal author and co-author of, among others, the Clean Air Act of 1999, Clean Water Act, the National Security Policy, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2009, the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms Law (CARPER). He is shepherding the Freedom of Information Act which he now refers to as the POGI Bill – People’s Ownership of Government Information Act, the National Mapping and Resource Authority Law and the Land Use Act. Senator Honasan has also proposed a Mini-Marshall Plan for Mindanao to help jumpstart economic development, peace and order, and political unity. The proposal will also help end centuries of armed conflict and terrorism.

Senator Honasan is currently the Chairperson of the Senate Committees on Agrarian Reform, Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, and Public Information and Mass Media. He likewise chairs three oversight committees, specifically the Congressional Oversight Committees on Agrarian Reform and Dangerous Drugs, as well as the Joint Oversight Committee on the Human Security Act. He is Vice-Chairperson of the Senate Committees on Local Government, Civil Service and Government Reorganization, Health and Demography, National Defense and Security, Public Works, Rules, and Amateur Sports Competitiveness and a member of 19 major permanent committees and ten oversight committees.

Senator Honasan is for God, Country and Family as core principles of citizenship coupled with values of Faith, Hope and Love. He is a staunch advocate for the environment, social reforms, national security, good governance, education and public health, youth and sports development recognizing that as a proud sovereign nation our most strategic and precious resource are our children.


  1. Very interesting read. As an ex-AF SP, your writing was spot on, so much so that I can picture myself holding onto that M-60 in the back of the humvee. Well done!

  2. Thanks for the comment. Great to hear from a real USAF SP. Someone who was the tip of the spear.

    Cheers Nick Auclair

  3. Reading the book was like walking through memory lane. I was a dependent at Clark from Nov. 87 through June 90 (my dad was 3rd TFS Squadron Commander) and remember many of the events you mention in the book (e.g., the Crow Valley assassinations). I noticed you are doing book signings. Any chance you will be in the Dallas, TX area?


    Steve French

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks Steve for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed reading it. If you have the time a review on Amazon would be most welcome. I spent many hours at the 3rd TFS. I left Clark in 1987. I'd love to visit Dallas. If you hear of an event that needs a speaker let me know. Cheers Nick Auclair

  4. I think many of the current voters are too young to remember what the Marcos family did to the country. Those that don't know their history often repeat it. Right now, Marcos JR. is way ahead of the polls and likely to get in office.