Through sponsorship by Senator Miguel Zubiri – Arnis Officially Declared National Martial Art and Sport, Dec. 11 2009,

Senator Miguel Zubiri Ilustrisimo Lameco

Researched by the Executive-Legislative Liaison Service



RA 9850





The principal author and sponsor of RA 9850 is Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri. He is a dedicated Martial Artist and Eskrimador. His primary teacher since childhood is Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts, founder of Bakbakan Philippines. System that he studied under Grandmaster Ricketts include Bakbakan Sagasa Kickboxing, Ngo Cho Kung Fu and Kali Ilustrisimo. Other teachers include Bakbakan Members Grandmaster Alex Co (Ngo Cho), Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite (Lameco Eskrima), Grandmaster Tony Diego (Kali Ilustrisimo) and Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo himself.


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Miguel with some of his teachers and fellow Bakbakan members.


Lameco Sulite-advanced-balisong

On the cover of the “Advanced Balisong” book with one of his teachers, Punong Guro Edgar Sulite.

Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri

In 2008, Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, at age 39, became the youngest to be elected as Senate Majority Leader since the First Congress in 1946. A veteran legislator, he served the 3rd District of Bukidnon from 1998 to 2007 and was always cited as one of the most outstanding solons in the House of Representatives. He has also maintained a perfect attendance in the Plenary Sessions for the last 12 years (4 Congresses) both as Congressman and as Senator, and including this 15th Congress.

In the 14th Congress and during his stint as Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Zubiri helped steer the Senate to a record performance of around 650 bills enacted into laws.

Sen. Migz is the principal author and sponsor of more than 20 major laws, both in the Senate and during his stint as Congressman. As a fervent advocate of clean energy, he worked for the passage of RA 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 and RA 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006, earning him the moniker Mr. Clean Energy. Among the other laws he sponsored, principally authored or co-authored are:


RA10068 – Organic Agriculture Act of 2010;

RA 9147 – Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act;

RA 10121 – Philippine Disaster Risk Management Act;

RA 9165 – Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002;

RA 9679 – the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009 (Pag-IBIG Fund);

RA 9653 – the Rent Control Act of 2009;

RA 9997 – the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Act of 2009;

RA 9996 – the Mindanao Development Authority Act of 2010;

RA 9904 – the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners’ Associations;

RA 9903 – Condonation of Penalties on Delinquent Social Security Contributions;

RA 9507 – the Socialized and Low-Cost Housing Loan Condonation Program;

RA 9850 – Declaring Arnis as the National Martial Art and Sport;

RA 9500 – UP Charter Amendments;

RA 9163 – National Service Training Program;

RA 9166 – Armed Forces of the Philippines Rate Pay Base Increase Act;

RA 10072 – the New Charter of the Philippine Red Cross;

RA 9645 – Declaring July 27 of Every Year as Araw ng Iglesia Ni Cristo and as Special Working Holiday; and

RA 9849 – Declaring Eidul Adha as a National Holiday.

He is also considered the “father” of the New Cooperative Code being the principal sponsor and author of RA 9520 or the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008.

Sen. Migz is known as a champion of environmental concerns, an advocacy he pursues in the Senate and among his top legislative agenda. In the current 15th Congress, he chairs the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. He also chairs the Committee on Cooperatives and 3 Joint Congressional Oversight Committees such as the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act; Joint Congressional Committee on Clean Air Act; and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Cooperatives. He is also a member of 20 other Senate standing committees.

Sen. Migz is involved in concrete environmental programs such as being the founder of the Philippine Deer Foundation, a deer conservation project, and as President of the Palawan-based Katala Foundation which protects endangered wildlife species and their habitats. A trained first aider and certified rescue diver, he is a Governor of the Philippine Red Cross and active member of the Red Cross Youth Committee and Concerned Divers of the Philippines.

Senator Zubiri has published two books: the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008, and Bukidnon: The Philippine Frontier. He is a graduate of Master’s in Environment and Natural Resources Management at the University of the Philippines Open University and Bachelor of Science in Agri-Business Management at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños. He has also been conferred four Honorary or Honoris Causa Doctoral degrees by various private and state universities.

Senator Migz takes pride for being the husband to lovely Audrey; a loving father to Ma. Adriana and Juanmi; and a good son to Vice-Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri, Jr. of Bukidnon, and Victoria Fernandez-Zubiri of Libon, Albay.


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