Walking Tall in the Grand East
Most Worshipful Bro. Johnny T. Pimentel (JTP) is the new Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines. Towering at five feet and eleven inches, he is known to many as a dedicated and hardworking man, and productive in all his undertakings. The Grand Lodge will surely benefit from his years of experience as a truly effective, professional, and reliable leader.
A doting and loving family man, our Most Worshipful Brother is married to a beautiful and equally dynamic wife - Ateng Rosalinda Cabreros Cruz. They were blessed with six (6) children who are all successful in their respective fields such as business, higher education, law, architecture, and public service.
MW Johnny himself is a Congressman serving the 2nd District of Surigao del Sur. - Throughout his career, he has authored and co-authored 602 bills of which 72 were enacted into law.
Our Grand Master was born on March 29, 1956. He attended Lourdes Elementary School and Ulysses S. Grant High School in the Valley Glen neighborhood of Los Angeles, California - as a Grantee of the US - Philippine Exchange Student program. Later he finished college in Ateneo de Manila University with Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He entered politics in 1995 when he became the Vice Governor of Surigao del Sur, occupying the position until 1998. He also ran for governor in 1998. Was the provincial administrator from 2001 to 2010, during the gubernatorial term of his brother, Vicente "Baby Boy" Pimentel Jr. From 2010 to 2016, he served as Governor of Surigao del Sur. During his term of office, he helped facilitate the release of people captured by the New People's Army (NPA), including two mayors. In 2016, he won a seat at the House of Representatives and was elected Deputy House Speaker in 2019. A year later, he became Chairman of the House Special Committee on Strategic Intelligence.
As a political scion from two illustrious families in Surigao del Sur, JTP has always been destined for greatness. His mother Felicidad Ty Pimentel, dubbed the iron lady of Surigao, is a philanthropist and former Governor. His father Vicente Pimentel Sr. is a headstrong lawyer, former Congressman and Governor, and renowned orator who bravely confronted the Marcos dictatorship. Both imparted to the young Pimentel a rich family legacy and formidable reputation for public service.
Gifted with remarkable intellect, MW Johnny further cultivated his Catholic upbringing in Lourdes and later as a grantee of a US Philippine Exchange High School Student Program, where he learned the value of hard work amidst a life of simplicity and practical independence. This experience formed his commendable work ethics that would later gain recognition in his career.
At a relatively young age of 23, JTP's entrepreneurial spirit would be honed by various enterprises which he ventured with his equally exceptional siblings - who themselves were a collective force in spurring the province's development. The years of exploring the vast resources of their province and harnessing their economic potential enabled our future Grand Master to build meaningful relationships that would rouse his interest and eventual foray into politics.
Starting from the bottom, he climbed the ranks of political leadership in the province, to be elected its Vice Governor from 1995 to 1998. Together with his legendary brother, former Governor Baby Boy Pimentel, he steered the province to unprecedented peace and prosperity for almost a decade as its Provincial Administrator before taking the helm as Governor in 2010- a stint that got him an Outstanding Civil Servant citation in CARAGA in 2008. During his 6-year tenure as governor, Surigao del Sur experienced stellar growth through programs that garnered prestigious national awards. The following are a few examples:
- Galing Pook Award (2010) for his "Income Retention Scheme" that improved delivery of basic health services conferred by no less than former Pres. Noynoy Aquino and given special coverage on the ABS-CBN News Channel;
- Top Rice Achiever Award (2011) from former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala for increasing palay yield within a year, making Surigao del Sur the second largest producer in the CARAGA Region;
- PDEA Award for creating the "JYES Kontra Droga" Program which aimed to curbed out drug proliferation in the province and made significant arrest to some identified drug lords and pushers in the province;
- BAYANI KA Award by the Department of Social Welfare and Development through his undying support in providing funds for the basic needs to indigents such as rape victims, battered husbands and wives, abused women and children.
- TESDA Kabalikat Award from former TESDA Sec and current Senator Joel Villanueva for promoting skills development training among constituents, especially the out-of-school-youth;
- Seal of Good House Keeping from the DILG for accelerating infrastructure projects through transparent and expeditious public bidding;
- Dona Aurora Quezon Award by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) for his effort in providing a Crisis Center in the province of Surigao del Sur which provides immediate services to our indigents and the establishment of Blood Bank in the province which at present, greatly contributed to victims of car accidents and the like.
In 2016, he ran and won a seat as a second district representative of Surigao del Sur. Even in his first term, he has co-authored well-meaning and much-desired landmark laws such as the establishment of a nationwide 911 corridor and anticipated wage increase of uniformed police and military personnel. From 2016 to 2018, JTP was Chairman of the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability; later as Chairman of the Oversight Committee on Comprehensive Tax Reform in 2018 to 2019.
In his second term in 2019, he was appointed one of 22 Deputy Speakers. Now chairing the House Strategic Intelligence Committee pushing for bills that upgrade our armed forces and strengthen our national defense capabilities. Simultaneously, he continues safeguarding the integrity of government officials as Vice-Chair of the House for Good Government and Public Accountability Committee. As such, the House leadership continues to rely on our Congressman Pimentel to sponsor forward-looking bills and measures that benefit the multitude of our Filipino brothers and sisters.
MW Johnny's excellent public service extended beyond government and well into civic engagement. For instance, he spearheaded the Tandag City Chamber of Commerce and the Tandang Lions Club, having served both organizations as President. He also served as President of the Tandag Capitol Tennis Club. Yet, in all his achievements, his Masonic family remains a constant and most significant fixture in his civic life. JTP has always actively collaborated with his Masonic brothers in organizing charitable works and programs that help those in need, while promulgating the core virtues of Freemasonry.
As a Freemason, JTP was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Red Mountain Masonic Lodge No. 241 on April 15, 1989, passed to the degree of Fellow Craft on July 15, 1989, and raised a Master Mason on August 26, 1989. In a matter of four years, he ascended into the oriental chair, becoming the lodge's Worshipful Master in 1993 and 1994, and later its Treasurer from 1996 to 1997.
His dedication to the brotherhood's cause has allowed his Masonic family to entrust him with more leadership roles. He became District Deputy Grand Master in 1996 and 1997, and Junior Grand Lecturer for Eastern Mindanao in 1997-1998. He likewise became a member of the Committee on Masonic Education and a Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Sta. Catarina that same year. Our brother eventually became a life member of his lodge in February 2016.
Years of Masonic leadership and dedication has prepared JTP for bigger roles. On May 15, 2017, he was appointed Senior Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, and again became Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Sta. Catarina from 2018-2019. We was one of the Honorees of the Grand Lodge when it acknowledged the services of Masons in government.
On June 9, 2018, he was elected Junior Grand Warden, and accepted membership in the Grand Lodge Committee on Finance and on the Committee on Masonic Associations and Clubs. On June 20, 2019, he became Senior Grand Warden and eventually again accepted membership in the Committee on Finance. That same year, he was granted honorary membership in Hadji Butu Masonic Lodge No. 393. He also became an honorary member of Moises De Guzman Masonic Lodge No. 161 the following year. He continued to serve in the Grand West in 2020 on an extended term like all other Grand Lodge Officers with the cancellation of the Annual Communications that year due to the onset of the Corona Virus Pandemic.
When the Grand Lodge proceeded with the 103rd Annual Communications in April 22, 2021, then Right Worshipful Pimentel accepted the position of Deputy Grand Master, and became a member of the Grand Lodge Board of General Purposes. He was also Chairman of the Committee on Finance; the Committee on Administration of Lodge, Returns, and Charters; and of the Committee on Masonic Association and Clubs. He likewise became Vice Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Disaster Preparedness.
As our 105th Grand Master, MW Johnny Ty Pimentel now serves and heads this Grand jurisdiction for Masonic Year 2022-2023, which incidentally will be celebrating its 110th Founding Anniversary in December 19, 2022. In hopeful commemoration of the event amidst the threat of the Corona Virus Pandemic, he adopted the theme:
"HARMONY FOR ONE AND ALL: THE FOUNDATION OF GENUINE MASONIC FRATERNITY"
To ensure that every mason in the jurisdiction can partake of the theme's value, Key Projects during his administration shall be organized into three Pillars, namely: Institutional Harmony, National Harmony, and Fraternal Harmony. These being the collective terms for the various programs that he and his team have prepared for One and ALL. At the helm is MW JTP - walking tall and ever ready to devote his services to the Grand Lodge in this term and for many years hereafter.