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Niel D. Tupas, Sr. was born on November 27, 1932, and died on November 24, 2015.
He was the Governor of the province of Iloilo, a representative of the 5th District of the same province to the Batasang Pambansa (1978 to 1984) and Philippine Congress (1987 to 1998), and mayor of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo.
Niel was a Bachelor of Law graduate and the first President of the Municipal Mayors’ League of Iloilo in 1973 and Municipal Mayors’ League of the Philippines.
He was also the President of Western Visaya’s Municipal Mayors’ League in 1977.
Niel is the father of incumbent Iloilo representative Niel Tupas, Jr.
Niel obtained his pre-law his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Philippines in 1957 and passed the Bar in the same year.
After unsuccessful attempts of Congress, Niel won the post of the municipal mayor of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo in 1972, where he served for seven years.
In 1978, he was elected as assemblyman in the Batasang Pambansa.
In 1987, he was elected as congressman, serving a total of 11 years as legislator under the new democratic government.
In 2001, Niel Tupas was elected governor of Iloilo. He led Iloilo Province to several national awards, especially in the anti-illegal gambling against jueteng campaign, stopping illegal fishing, and the clean and green program.
Niel was re-elected in 2004 and once more during the May 12, 2007 elections, where he is now on his third term.
He also sits as a member of the Council of Advisers of the League of Provinces of the Philippines.
Gov. Niel and Mrs. Tupas have seven children, many of whom hold political office: they are the parents of Congressman Niel Tupas, Jr., the mayor of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Niel Tupas III and Lex Tupas.
Mrs Tupas herself served three times as municipal mayor of the Municipality of Barotac Viejo.
Gov. Tupas was charged for graft and corruption before the Ombudsman for granting a quarry permit to an unqualified contractor who was said to have partnered with a mining company owned by the in-laws of his son Raul.
The Ombudsman ordered Niel dismissed in 2007, but his reelection in the same year made the penalty unenforceable.
In September 2015, 2 months before his death, Tupas, Sr., together with three local government officials was charged of graft by the Sandiganbayan on the case of anomalous payments to Green Core Geothermal, Inc for the unconsumed electricity worth P4 million pesos of the Iloilo provincial government from 2009 to 2010 under his term as the province governor.
He was later filed bail in the case and the anti-graft court withdrawed the arrest warrant.
Niel passed away at age 82 in November 2015.