With his name engraved in major thoroughfares, schools, hospitals and other public areas, two-time Senate president and former Rizal Governor Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez’s is among the country’s most eminent statesmen to be greatly appreciated with such tribute.
Owing to his greatness as a national leader during his time, members of the Batasan Pambansa in 1982 further honored him by renaming as Rodriguez town his birthplace, previously known as Montalban.
But while the late political leader will probably retain his name in areas outside his birthplace, he will likely be “dis-honored” soon following the decision of House Committee on Local Government to restore “Montalban”, in lieu of Rodriguez.
The House panel recently approved House Bill 8899, a bill filed by a neophyte lawmaker who defeated in the 2019 polls Rodriguez’s granddaughter.
In Committee Report No. 0812, the House Committee on Local Government endorsed the passage of HB 8899 as the substitute bill for HB 337 authored by Rep. Juan Fidel Felipe F. Nograles.
Nograles filed HB 337 as soon as he took over the office vacated in 2019 by former Rizal Rep. Isidro Rodriguez Jr., another Rodriguez grandson.
In his bill, Nograles claimed that despite nearly 40 years since the town was named Rodriguez, it still was referred to as “Montalban”, a name given by Spaniards to the municipality.
In calling for the renaming of Rodriguez to its old title, Montalban, Nograles said this name “gives its people a sense of pride and connection with the rich history of their land, their home and their people.” Rodriguez is adjacent Quezon City has experienced heavy migration of people from various parts of Metro Manila in the past decade.
“Meanwhile, imposing the name “Rodriguez” has created a disconnect between the government and the people of Montalban. Even after forty years, the people have not embraced “Rodriguez” and have expressed their strong desire to revert to ‘Montalban’,” stressed Nograles.
In 1982, the Batasan Pambansa renamed the municipality Rodriguez, in honor of the late Senate President Rodriguez who was a born there.
A two-time president of the Senate, Rodriguez became the ‘municipal president of Montalban before his election as Rizal governor. He also became a Cabinet secretary and represented the second district of Rizal in the House of Representatives.
Described as “a man of integrity who played fair with his opponents”, Rodriguez had ten children. One of them, Isidro, became a lawyer and served as the 18th governor of Rizal for 21 years.
Isidro’s was married to former Quezon City Mayor Adelina S. Rodriguez, now 100 years old.