As Secretary of National Defense (2007-2009), he pushed for the Defence System of Management (DSOM) implementation which provided decision makers with timely, relevant, and accurate information, thereby increasing efficiency and transparency in the defense sector. He likewise assisted in the resolution of internal security threats while insisting on structural and procedural changes to ensure the observance of human rights. He also strengthened bilateral and multilateral security and defense cooperation with both regional and extra-regional States in order to further peace and to combat non-traditional security threats. As ex officio Chairman of the then National Disaster Coordinating Council (now the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council) he actively pursued the integration of the various international protocols on disaster risk management, assisted in capacity building of the various sectors involved, played a key role in the first ARF Voluntary Demonstration of Response exercise in which 26 countries participated, and coordinated response and rehabilitation efforts in numerous natural and man-made calamities that beset the Philippines during his tenure.
As Congressman (1998-2007), he was a principal author of the Securities Code of 2000, which shifted the Philippine securities regulation system from a merit regulation system to a full disclosure system. He was the Head of a sizable bloc of Congressmen who were members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition. He was a member of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council which was vital in enacting several key pieces of legislation. He had stints as Assistant Majority Leader and Deputy Minority Leader.
He was a former youth representative to various regional, provincial, and municipal bodies in Region III and was involved in organizing, training, and motivating the youth in his constituency to improve their political and civic consciousness.