Atty. Jay C. De Castro was born on November 19, 1956, the third of four children of Benito S. De Castro of Candon, Ilocos Sur and Julieta C. De Castro of Lopez, Quezon. He is married to Marylou D. De Castro and has three children, Julia Carmela, Joana Carla, and Jonase.
He is a product of the public school system, having attended his primary education at the Francisco Balagtas Elementary School (1969) in Sta. Cruz, Manila and his secondary education at the Manila High School (1973), in Intramuros, Manila, where he was debater and orator and the editor-in-chief of its school organ, Ang Binhi.
He enrolled at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, University of Santo Tomas in 1973 and finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts in 1978. It was martial law when he studied in UST and all student organizations, including fraternities, were banned. Despite the proscription on student organizations, he joined the Tau Gamma Phi (TGP) fraternity and became its Grand Triskelion in 1976. In 1977, in order to end fraternity rumbles among Greek lettered organizations, he organized and became the Chairman of the FROUST (Fraternal Organization of the University of Santo Tomas), the first union of fraternities in the country.
In 1979, he was elected Secretary-General of the Metro Manila TGP fraternity and conducted projects, which were firsts in the fraternity, such as, “Kapit-Bisig Kabataan,” a call among fraternities to unite against the abuses of martial law; “Hakbang sa Kapayapaan,” a march for peace among warring fraternities that led to the formation of inter-fraternity solidarity in the University-belt, the University of the Philippines and nearby provinces (like FROUST) and inspired fraternity men to set aside their differences and end useless fraternity rumbles and channel their energy to worthwhile activities; “Punlaan sa Montalban” a massive reforestation program in Wawa Dam, Montalban, Rizal, where frat members planted thousands of Ipil-ipil seedlings; and “Magbuwis ng Dugo Para sa Bayan”, a blood-letting campaign participated in by members of the TGP, to impress that the youth should be willing to offer their lives for truth, justice and freedom.
Atty. De Castro finished law at the Far Eastern University, where he was its best debater. He took the Bar in 1985 and his oath as attorney in 1986. He joined the Ponce Enrile, Cayetano Reyes and Manalastas Law Offices after passing the Bar, then engaged in private practice.
As adherent of freedom and democracy and nemesis of corruption, he joined rallies and demonstrations against martial law abuses and in 1986, led frat men in EDSA to support the military that rebelled against dictator Ferdinand Marcos. He did the same in 2001, when former President Estrada was ousted by the people due to accusations of corruption.
He was appointed director of the Philippine Coal Corporation, a subsidiary of the PNOC (Philippine National Oil Corporation) in 2001 and served as member of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Waterworks & Sewerage System (MWSS) from 2002 to 2009.
His appointment with the GOCCs exposed him to anomalous government transactions. Albeit newly appointed director, he questioned and opposed contracts grossly disadvantageous and manifestly injurious to the government. His campaign against graft and corruption in government merited him an award from the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) as Anti-Corruption Advocate in Government Service in 2005.
He is active in the government and private sector’s campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country and has written several articles against the rise of narco-politics in the Philippines and served as speaker against the infamous Tiangge ng Shabu sa Pasig, where he denounced the police and local officials who coddle drug pushers and manufacturers.
Because of his advocacy against corruption and illegal drugs trade, he and his family were subjected to harassments and intimidations. In May 2001, his house in Sta. Mesa, Manila was fired upon and his car burned by goons of corrupt politicians he criticized in his column.
He has written two books: “At Tumestigo Ang Asintado” (2003), a book about Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson’s jueteng expose’ on former President Joseph Estrada, his impeachment trial and other events of EDSA II; and “Aklat ng Malakas” (2008), a book on values and character development for the creation of a responsible citizenry.
Atty. De Castro writes a regular column entitled MALAKAS (Mamamayan Laban sa Karahasan at Kasamaang Panlipunan) in People’s Tonight, the leading English/Pilipino tabloid in the country and has a radio program entitled “Magkaisa Para sa Bayan” (DZRJ, 810 Khz and DWBL 1242 Khz), where he promotes the ideals and teachings of the book “Aklat ng Malakas.”
In 2009, he organized Magkaisa Para sa Bayan, Inc. a non-stock and non-profit organization, in order to unite the Filipino people to create a safe, peaceful, just, healthy and prosperous society, through the propagation and promotion of the visions, hopes, aspirations, goals, ideals and teachings of the book “Aklat ng Malakas.”
Atty. De Castro has vision of things to come. The projects that he accomplished, thirty (30) years ago, when he was still student, namely, “Kapit-Bisig Kabataan”, “Hakbang sa Kapayapaan”, “Punlaan sa Montalban” and “Magbuwis ng Dugo Para sa Bayan” are very relevant today – in that, our youth should continue to unite and be vigilant against abuses and repressions of the government, our people should persist to seek peace and end our unresolved conflict with the MILF and Abu Sayaff in Mindanao and the CPP-NPA in Luzon and other parts of the country, our people should continuously engage in massive reforestation campaign all over the country to protect our children from the devastating consequences of global warming and that we should all be willing to sacrifice our lives for truth, justice and freedom, for the welfare of our country and people.
Atty. De Castro believes that only by incarcerating or deleting the perpetrators of graft and corruption can we eradicate poverty in our nation and extricate our people from living in subhuman conditions.