Senator of the Republic, 2004-2010
Senator of the Republic, 1998-2004
Senate Minority Leader, July 23, 2002 - August 5, 2002
Senate Majority Leader, June 3, 2002 - July 23, 2002
Senate Minority Leader, July 23, 2001 - June 3, 2002
Senate President, November 13, 2000 - July 23, 2001
Cited annually by mass media, civic and religious organizations as Outstanding Senator.
Some of his significant legislative output that he authored and co-sponsored:
(i) Republic Act No. 7160, The Local Government Code of 1991. The Code liberates provinces, cities, municipalities and barangay from over-dependence upon the central government by increasing their powers and share in the taxes and wealth of the nation.
(ii) Republic Act No. 6938, The Cooperative Code. The Code provides government support for the establishment of all kinds of cooperatives to help combat poverty.
(iii) Republic Act No. 6678, The Generic Drugs Act. The law encourages the use of generic drugs (medicine) as a way of reducing the costs of medicine.
(iv) Republic Act No. 6847, The Philippine Sports Commission Act. The law rationalizes sports activities in the country to help discover and develop international-caliber athletes.
(v) Republic Act No. 6734, An Act Creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The law seeks to dissipate the causes of unrest and secession in the Muslim provinces of Mindanao.
(vi) Republic Act No. 6975, An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police under a reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government. The law detaches the police from the military and places it completely under civilian supervision and control.
(vii) The People's Small-Scale Mining Act. The law allows small-scale miners to lawfully engage in mining activities.
(a) Elected Delegate, Constitutional Convention, 1971;
(b) Elected Mayor of Cagayan de Oro City, 1980-84;
(c) Elected Member of Parliament (Batasan Pambansa), 1984-86;
(d) Appointed Minister of Local Government by President Corazon C. Aquino, 1986;
(e) Appointed Presidential Adviser and Chief Negotiator with the Muslim rebels by President Aquino, 1987;
(f) Elected Senator of the Republic, 1987-1992;
(g) Cheated of victory by means of dagdag/bawas in the 1995 senatorial elections; whereupon he sued the cheaters before the criminal courts where the cases are still being tried. He, has, however, established by incontrovertible evidence in the Senate Electoral Tribunal the existence of massive dagdag/bawas fraudulent count in the said senatorial elections.
(h) Elected Senator of the Republic, 1998-2004. As a senator, he continues the crusade to curb graft and corruption in government; the fight for electoral reforms and the prosecution of the criminal cases against the cheats in the 1995 & 1998 elections.
(i) Elected as the 19th Senate President of the Republic, November 13, 2000.
(j) Elected as the Senate Minority Leader in the opening of the 12th Congress, July 23, 2001.
(k) Senate Majority Leader of the Republic, June 3, 2002.
(l) Senate Minority Leader of the Republic, July 23, 2002.
(m) Elected Senator of the Republic, 2004-2010.
Ousters from public office
(a) 1982 - Ousted by the Marcos government as Mayor of Cagayan de Oro city; reinstated by people-power demonstrations, the first ever in the country; and
(b) 1984 - Ousted by the Marcos government as Assemblyman; reinstated by the Supreme Court.
Martial law arrests and detentions
(a) 1973 - Camp Crame, Quezon City, for almost 3 months for opposing the Marcos constitution;
(b) 1978 - Camp Bicutan, Metro Manila, for 2 months for leading a demonstration against the farcical Interim Batasan Pambansa elections in 1978;
(c) 1983 - Camp Sergio Osmeña and Camp Sotero Cabahug in Cebu City and house arrest in Cagayan de Oro City for almost 7 months on charges of rebellion; and
(d) Arrested in Cagayan de Oro City for allegedly engaging in ambuscades in Cebu. People contributed centavos and pesos in small denominations to bail him out.
(a) A.B.-Law, Xavier University 
(b) Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa), Xavier University [March 27, 1993]
(c) Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa), University of Baguio [March 13, 2000]
(d) Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa), Notre Dame University [March 17, 2001]
(e) Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa), Sultan Kudarat Polytechnic State College [April 12, 2004]
(f) Doctor in Public Administration (Honoris Causa), Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Mabini Campus, Santa Mesa, Manila [May 6, 2005]
Private work experience
(a) 1960-80 - Practicing Lawyer;
(b) 1962-67 - Dean, College of Law, Xavier University;
(c) 1975-79 - Professor, College of Law, San Beda College;
(d) 1977-79 - Professor, College of Law, Far Eastern University; Counsel, Justice and Peace Committee, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines;
(e) Book author:
(i) The Local Government Code: The Key to National Development (Cacho Hermanos, Manila, 1993);
(ii) The Barangay and the Local Government Code (Rex Bookstore, Manila, 1994);
(iii) Cooperative Code of the Philippines: Theory, Law and Practice (White Orchids Printing & Publishing Co., Quezon City) with co-author, Atty. Mordino R. Cua (1994); and
(iv) Handbook on Cooperatives (White Orchids Printing & Publishing Co., Quezon City, 1996).
(v) Martial Law in the Philippines: My Story (Cacho Publishing House, Mandaluyong City, 2006).
(vi) The Making of Human Security Act of 2007 (PNU Press, Manila, 2007).
(vii) The Local Government Code Revisited 2007 (PNU Press, Manila, 2007).
(viii) JUNKETING: Senatorial Style (Cacho Publishing House, Mandaluyong City, 2008).
(ix) Federalizing the Philippines: A Primer (PNU Press, Manila, 2008).