HomeGovernmentThe Chief ExecutiveFormer MayorsHon. Hector C. Suarez

Hon. Hector C. Suarez (1954-1955; 1964-1967)

When Mayor Cesar C. Climaco left for Vietnam in 1953 to take up his position as Chief Coordinator for Operation Brotherhood, another Suarez was to take over the post of mayor of Zamboanga. The brother of former Mayor Vicente Suarez, Hector, was appointed as the chief executive of the city.

Hector Carvajal Suarez was born on February 27, 1907, in the barrio of San Jose Gusu. “Hecky”, as he was called, took up his elementary education at the Burleigh School, which today is the Zamboanga Central School. He finished his secondary education at the Normal School, which is now the Western Mindanao State University. He later went to Manila to pursue his college education and enrolled at the University of Manila where he took up law. Despite the fact that he came from a well-to-do family, the young man decided to pursue his college education as a working student. He labored as an assistant in the Electoral Tribunal until he finished his law course, passing the bar examination in 1933.

He came back to Zamboanga to practice his profession. He became a well-known lawyer who took care of clients from all walks of life. He was noted to have a soft spot for the poor. According to his wife Dulcing, on many occasions he would not even charge for his services in defending poor clients.

His popularity later gained him political prominence. He served as an appointed mayor until 1955. In 1956, when the first election for mayor was held, he ran but lost to Cesar C. Climaco, who had returned from Vietnam.

In 1964, Hecky ran against Ferrer, defeating the latter. He would serve Zamboanga for a three-year term. In 1967, he was defeated by Joaquin F. Enriquez, Jr. After his defeat, Suarez decided to retire from public life.

Mayor Suarez is well remembered for his barrio beautification projects. It was Hecky who thought of bringing electricity to the barrios. Another major project of his was the construction of schools in the rural areas. It was also through his efforts that the income earned by the local water utility in the city was transferred from the national to the city coffers.