|Governor of Batangas|
|Born||José Antonio C. Leviste
Jan 14, 1940
Malabon, Metro Manila, Philippines
|Political party||Lakas Kampi CMD (since 2009)|
Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (1972-80)
|Spouse(s)||Loren Legarda (1989-2003)
Celia Sarangaya, first wife
José Antonio 'Tony' C. Leviste (born 1940) is a Filipino politician, who served as governor of the Philippine province Batangas from 1972 to 1980. Born to a distinguished Batangueño family renowned in both business and politics, he was married to Senator Loren Legarda, separating from her before the 2004 election campaign. The be-medalled Asian Games equestrienne Toni Leviste is his daughter from a previous marriage.
Leviste was sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of his long-time aide, Rafael de las Alas. Leviste served his sentence at the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa and on December 6, 2013, he was released after his parole was granted.
He graduated from the Lyceum of the Philippines in 1959 and the president of the Batangas Varsitarian,a reputable organization of Batangueño students. During his term as Governor of Batangas, he was elected member of the Batasang Bayan chairman of the Regional Development Council, Vice President of the League of Governors and City Mayors, and chairman of the Program for Forest Ecosystem Management.
He was an advocate of the environment. He initiated a forest ecosystem management program which today continues to be a model in reforestation that made him earn the coveted "Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines" (TOYM) award for Public Administration.
He was chosen the "Realtor of the Year" by the Business Writers Association of the Philippines and served as the director in various government agencies, including the People's Homesite and Housing Corporation (now the NHA), Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation, Semirara Mining Corporation and the Philippine Tourism Authority. He was co-founder of the Pasay Board of Realtors and the Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards. He also served as Chairman of the Philippine Leisure and Retirement Authority. He holds the rank of Lt. Commander in the Philippine Navy Reserve Force and is the Honorary Consul General of the State of Palestine.
Currently, he is the charter president of the Resort Association of the Philippines and co-founder of the Tourism Council of the Philippines. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Leviste Group of Companies, a real estate firm engaged in housing, subdivision, condominium and resort development.
On January 14, 2009, Leviste was convicted of homicide in the killing of his longtime friend and aide Rafael de las Alas. Leviste had admitted responsibility for de las Alas' death, claiming he only fired in self-defence. The Makati City Regional Trial Court sentenced him to six to twelve years in prison. Leviste is now serving his sentence at the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.
In February 2011, an entrusted source to ABS-CBN's XXX team showed how Leviste is enjoying his imprisonment sentence like a free man. The award-winning Current Affairs show began investigating in February and monitored the areas provided by the tipster.
True enough, Leviste was seen in public places and was even videotaped by the program four times outside the Bilibid. These jail-breaking incidents are now under investigation.
Release from imprisonment
On December 6, 2013, Leviste was released after six years in prison after his parole has been granted.