bantayog.foundation

bantayog.foundation

CORTEZ, Hernando M.

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Hernando a.k.a. Adrian Cortez is remembered as one of the pillars of the labor movement in Mindanao that rocked the Marcos dictatorship but would later cost him his life in the hands of military agents.

Hernando or Boy to his family hailed from Butuan. His parents tilled six hectares of land and sold goods in the market. His older brothers, who graduated from college ahead of him and had found work as engineers, helped their parents send Hernando and his two younger brothers to school. Hernando studied at Butuan Elementary School and Agusan National High School. Influenced by his older siblings, he also took up engineering, majoring in agriculture at the Gregorio Araneta University Foundation (GAUF) in Caloocan.

History of political involvement

It was at the height of the student ferment when Hernando Cortez arrived in Metro Manila in the early ‘70s. Protests against oil price hikes, graft and corruption in the government and Marcos’s moves to extend his presidency were happening on an almost daily basis. Hernando became a member of the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) and later on chaired the GAUF chapter of the Pambansang Samahan ng Inhinyeriya at Agham (PSIA).

A young and energetic leader, Hernando led his fellow students not only in attending rallies and demonstrations but also in doing community outreach programs. When Central Luzon was flooded in 1971, he helped launch a program called Kilusing Lusong to mobilize relief goods for the victims. He led efforts to undertake education and organizing work beyond the confines of the university, talking with students from different schools nearby. Drawn by the workers’ call for just wages and better working conditions, he joined picketlines in Malabon, Caloocan and Navotas. He was once arrested during a strike by workers of a garment factory in Malabon and spent two days in jail.

Having a sharp, critical mind, Hernando also wrote biting articles for the campus paper, The Farrows (AngTudling) that enlightened the students about current issues prevailing at the time.

Hernando quit his studies in 1975, after the apartment where he and his brothers were staying was raided. He joined the underground resistance movement and changed his name to Adrian.

He went back home to Mindanao to continue organizing among the workers. In 1977, he was one of the lecturers on trade union work for the Institute for Workers’ Education and Leadership Training, a project under the wings of the United Methodist Student Center in  Davao City. The scope of his organizing work included banana plantation workers, stevedores, and workers in commercial establishments in Davao City, Davao del Norte and del Sur, North Cotabato, and South Cotabato.

Hernando also helped in setting up Kilusang Mayo Uno’s island chapter, Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Mindanao (United Workers in Mindanao/ NAMAMIN), which had 200 unions all over Mindanao. He was also one of those who led the formation of the Center of Trade Unions in Mindanao (CENTRUM) in the early ‘80s. These and some labor centers and unions were eventually allowed by the martial law regime to operate legally but only within the bounds of labor concerns. But because they also opposed the dictatorship, they were also treated as enemies of the state.

Hernando helped the NAMAMIN in launching huge rallies during May 1 and other occasions. Tens of thousands of workers would brave the streets to call not only for economic and political reforms, but also to condemn the rampant human rights violations and to call for an end to the dictatorship.

The workers’ protest rallies and pickets were met with violence and threats by the authorities. One such case was the massacre of workers of Franklin Baker Corporation. Hernando and other activists gave legal and logistical help to the workers and urban poor who became victims of state violence and persecution.

Hernando was always there to lift the workers’ spirit in times of hardship.They respected and loved him so much but he became one of the vulnerable targets of the Marcos regime. He had confided to a friend that he had been harassed by banana plantation company guards and that he was under surveillance by the military.He also requested another friend to go with him to his house in Butuan so that someone will know where his family lives in case something   happened to him.

Circumstances of death

Hernando was last seen alive in General Santos City in early August 1983, in a meeting with labor organizers. Later that month, friends came to his parents' house in Butuan City to tell them the sad news that Hernando had been killed.

At the PC Camp in General Santos City where the father had gone to claim the body, he was told his son ("Adrian" Cortez) had been killed on August 13 during a military encounter with members of the South Provincial Philippine Constabulary under the command of a Col. Andres Superable. The incident was reported in the Bulletin Today on August 17.

However the funeral parlor owner told the father that soldiers had brought the body to him on August 4, instructing him to bury the body in Lagao Cemetery without the benefit of a coffin. Also, documentation by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) records evidence of torture. “Deep, sharp cuts on Adrian's body and limbs indicated that he had been partially skinned alive.” (Nathan Quimpo in Subversive Lives, 2012)

Thus, Hernando may have been captured, not in a military encounter, but in a military raid, then killed under torture. The family had Hernando's date of death registered as August 4.

Impact of death on the community

 “He was one of the pioneers in trade union organizing in Mindanao,” Joel Maglunsod, one of Hernando’s co-workers in the labor movement in Mindanao recalls. Hernando Cortez could have been a great engineer with a promising career. But he chose the road less travelled and served as an inspiration not only to the activists of his generation but for the younger ones as well.

Born                June 22, 1954 in Butuan City

Died                August 4, 1983 in General Santos City

 Parents           Anastacio Cortez, farmer, and Irene Mondoy

Siblings           Eight brothers                         Birth order of hero: 7th

Education

Elementary     Butuan Elementary School

High School     Agusan National High School

College                        Gregorio Araneta University Foundation, Caloocan City

B.S. in Engineering, major in Agriculture

 

Sources

Bantayog profile form accomplished by Mel M. Cortez, brother

Affidavits

Anastacio M. Cortez Jr., brother, October 20, 2014, Quezon City

Mirasol A. Reyes, co-worker, September 12, 2014, Davao City

Meynardo P. Palarca, co-worker, October 1, 2014, Quezon City

Joel B. Maglunsod, co-worker, October 7, 2014, City of Manila

Interviews

USec. Joel B. Maglunsod, August 2, 2016, Department of Labor, Manila

Rey Mendoza, friend, July 2016,  Quezon City

Virgilio Labial, friend, July 2016, Quezon City

Samuel Castillo, friend, August 26, 2016, Quezon City

 

Subversive Lives, A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years, by Susan F. Quimpo and Nathan Gilbert Quimpo, Anvil Publishing Inc., Mandaluyong City, 2012, p.333.

“A Qualitative Difference,” by LeoncioEvasco, Rev. Ruben Genotiva and Rev. Ben Barloso, in That We May Remember, published by the Promotion of Church People’s Rights, Quezon City, May 1989.

News article from Bulletin Today, August 17, 1983

Posts and comments from the Facebook account of Mel Cortez, August 17-20, 2016

CERVANTES, Benjamin Roberto "Behn" H.

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The artist and activist Behn Cervantes was a theater pioneer, teacher and progressive thinker who devoted his life to the movement for social change and to the fight against dictatorship.

History of political involvement

Here’s how Behn described his own political education:

I was approached to direct a production on the Diliman Commune called Barikada.  I was to work closely with a young group of Philippine Science High School alumni ... .  It was a script in progress since it altered as it developed with rehearsals and experimentation. ... Ang Tao ang Mahalaga, Tigreng Papel, and other original songs [were composed for the production and] soon were lustily rendered in rallies and demonstrations by the newly organized Gintong Silahis [the cultural arm of Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan].  For all intents and purposes, I was GS’s Artistic Director and Coach since the main performing group lived together in an HQ called Boni for daily exercises and our multiple performances in rallies and strikes around Greater Manila.  It was the busiest theatre group I had ever worked with.  Certainly, it was the most committed.  (“Gintong Silahis,” SDK: Militant But Groovy, p. 114)

Thus began Behn’s involvement in the political struggles of the ‘70s.  He joined Gintong Silahis in its engagements, notably in the floods that ravaged Central Luzon in 1971 and the “Long March” from Los Baños to Manila in 1972.  He was very soon accepted formally in the movement.

Behn explained his deepening commitment to social change in a letter to then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile:

... I feel it is my duty to involve myself in cultural affairs native in theme and in manner to my audiences.  No doubt, since theater is a mirroring of life, I have researched and often stepped into the social realities of our country.  Rather than centering my work on escapist themes and foreign plays, I have worked with original Filipino plays that depict our very own realities.  I believe that only with such material can we view ourselves more clearly and truthfully.  It is for this reason that I have stopped participating with theatre groups who utilize material alien to the Filipino character and which further the miseducation of our people.  (“Letter to Hon. Juan Ponce Enrile,” 23 Nov 1977)

Behn became a high-profile personality in the protest movement against the Marcos regime.  He was there at strikes and rallies, was a leading figure in alliances featuring different sectors, from students, artists to the religious sectors. He was often on the frontlines of demonstrations.

Behn was detained three times: Camp Crame, 1975; Bicutan, 1977; and Fort Bonifacio, 1985.

After his second incarceration, Behn wrote to his family:

The history of the case is of course my consistent position as an opposition to martial law and my work in the university as a teacher and a director.  During these past few years, I have become known as one of the most vocal dissenters.  My movie, Sakada, and my plays, especially the last one, Pagsambang Bayan, show the exploitative nature of this system, the evils the ruling class commit on the many, the need to change the order of things.  (“Letter to Family,” 19 Jan 1978)

After the 1986 People Power Revolution, Behn committed his life to reminding people of martial law atrocities and emphasizing the need for cultural conversion. He said in a piece in the Jersey Journal:

... I don’t see myself as a theatre man.  I’m a member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines and our Preamble says, “We are Filipinos first who happen to be artists.”  The problems of the country are foremost.  (Jersey Journal, 18 Aug 1995)

Circumstance of death and impact

Behn died in 2013 due to complications arising from diabetes. Important figures of the anti-dictatorship struggle and respected artists mourned his passing. Critic Nestor U. Torre had this to say:

So many significant contributions and achievements to recall, review and give due importance to! ... [I]t’s clear that Behn’s arch-eyebrowed naysayers were wrong in diminishing his seminal contributions to making theater an agent for change rather than escapism in our nation’s life and times.  (“Behn Cervantes’ seminal contributions to activist theatre recalled—and affirmed,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 30 Apr 2016)

 

Born                      August 25, 1938, in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija

Died                      August 13, 2013, in Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Occupation         Artist, retired professor

Parents                Cenon S. Cervantes, Sr. and Rosario Elizabeth Holcombe

Siblings                 Eleven (three brothers, eight sisters)

Education

Elementary         De La Salle Grade School, Taft Ave., Manila

High School         De La Salle, Taft Ave., Manila

College                 AB Speech and Drama, 1963

University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

Post-Graduate  Master in Fine Arts, 1967

University of Hawaii

Others                  Film and Theatre, Columbia University, New York

Beloit College, Wisconsin

Professional Accomplishments

Acted in over 200 productions, including plays, musicals, operettas, revues, cantatas, and street theatre

Worked with two summer stock companies in Beloit, Wisconsin and Stoney Point, New York

Directed over 120 plays, operas, musicals, cantatas, and street plays in the University of the Philippines, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Meralco Theatre, Insular Life Auditorium, Phil-Am Life Auditorium, and provincial venues (for cultural outreach programs), eventually concentrating on Philippine dramaturgy and original Filipino plays and musicals, e.g.,Barikada, Pagsambang Bayan, Sigaw ng Bayan, Iskolar ng Bayan, and Lorena

Founder/Founding Member of UP Repertory Company and Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA)

Resident Director/Artistic Director of, inter alia, Repertory Philippines, UP Christian Youth Movement, UP Student Catholic Action, Upsilon Sigma Phi, Sigma Delta Phi, Sigma Beta, Beta Sigma, and UP Speech Association

Appeared in over a dozen featured roles in Philippine films and played major roles in two French films

Directed four feature films, including Sakada, several documentaries, some television episodes, and commercials

Acted, hosted, and guested in several major Philippine television shows

Received numerous awards, grants, fellowships, and scholarships, including, inter alia, the Palanca Award in 1997 and Gawad Urian in 1976 and 2012

Columnist/Contributor—BusinessWorld, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Panorama, Manila Times, People, &c.

Wrote numerous articles and essays on Philippine culture, theatre, and the arts

Has lectured in various schools and universities all over the Philippines, sat in different committees, acted as resource person in many fora and formal hearings

Cited as one of the five outstanding Filipino stage directors of the last 50 years, along with Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero, Severino Montano, Rolando Tinio, and Zeneida Amador

Sources

Bantayog profile form submitted by Antonio H. Cervantes, brother

SDK: Militant but Groovy, Soliman M. Santos Jr. and Paz Verdades M. Santos, eds., Anvil Publishing Inc., 2008

Behn Cervantes Files, containing various letters, newspaper clippings, photos and other memorabilia

CAMUS, Fortunato

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Fortunato Camus, known as Toto, was a student activist and revolutionary who became a leading organizer of the youth movement in the Visayas and a pioneer of the underground resistance to dictatorship.

Personal background

Toto was from the town of Asturias, a coastal area in Cebu. His father was a policeman, and his mother took care of the family that included his two brothers. He graduated from the University of the Visayas.

History of political involvement

In 1969, he helped organize the Consolidation of Reforms for the Youth (CRY), a Cebu-based student organization. When the 1970 First Quarter Storm erupted in Metro Manila, Cebu followed suit with CRY spearheading rallies and demonstrations protesting tuition fee hikes and national issues. Toto organized the CRY chapter at the University of the Visayas, the biggest university in the city which later staged a pcket in front of the institutiobn. They were joined by students from other schools. The mass action was violently dispersed. Toto, known as the leader of the group, was harassed and threatened with expulsion. Undaunted, he went on to join protest actions in the city.

By then, nationalist organizations like the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) and the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) were expanding their organizing efforts in Cebu. While remaining members of CRY, many students also became members of KM or SDK. Toto chose to be with SDK. The three organizations worked together to keep the flames of activism vibrant in Cebu as they launched mass actions.

The organizing efforts Toto joined went beyond the confines of the schools, reaching out to peasants, workers and drivers. The students eventually joined the strike launched by workers at the USIPHIL which sought to advance the interests of peasants at Hacienda Osmena.

Toto played a key role in organizing drivers of public utility vehicles which led to the creation of Kahugpungan sa mga Drayber or KADRE. As part of this work, he lived among the drivers and the urban poor.

Toto became known for his constant presence at the SDK and CRY headquarters where he spent much time even during school breaks. He eventually helped in the creation of a broad coalition, the Visayan Reform Movement (VRM) which was inspired by the Movement for a Democratic Philippines (MDP).

By the middle of 1971, Toto was ready for an even deeper political commitment.

In May, he joined other activists in attending a political and military training in Isabela where the New People’s Army was strong and rapidly expanding. Toto eventually stayed on to gain more experience and training in peasant organizing. He was still there when Marcos declared martial law.

Toto then became known as Ka Norman, a cadre of the revolutionary movement in Cagayan Valley, known for his leadership and skills in military tactics, the leader an armed propaganda unit that performed organizing work in the remote areas of Isabela.

The work Toto did covered a broad range of issues affecting local communities. His team helped form local community organizations and cooperatives to address such needs as the marketing of their products. His team worked with the youth, helped come up with self-defense strategies against cattle rustlers and land grabbers and for better health and sanitation.

Toto learned to speak the local language which made him more effective as a leader and organizer. While in Isabela, he met and got married to a fellow activist with whom he had son.

Those were difficult years for the revolutionary movement. The combined forces of the Philippine Constabulary and the Philippine Army were constantly launching operations against the NPA guerillas. These operations led to abuses, deaths and the displacement of thousands.

Toto’s own unit struggled with hunger, sickness and other hardships.

Circumstance of death

Still, Toto’s role in the armed resistance continued to expand. He later helped organize the resistance movement in Quirino Province, Aurora, Quezon and Nueva Ecija. During an encounter in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija in June 1976, Toto was killed together with Manuel Hizon, another Bantayog martyr. He was 26.

 

Born                July 14, 1949 in Asturias, Cebu

Died                June 17, 1976 in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija

Parents            Pacifico Camus, police chief, and Rosario Camus

Siblings            2 brothers

Spouse             Elizabeth Principe

Child:               Francis Anthony Principe

Education

College                        University of the Visayas (UV), Bachelor of Arts

 

Graduate         College of Law, University of the Visayas

Studies             2 years

 

Sources:

Bantayog Profile Form accomplished by Elizabeth Principe, wife

Interviews

Randall Echanis, April 11, 2014, Quezon City

Atty. Francis Principe, son, September 1, 2016, Makati City

LINANG and MAINSTREAM. GERA, written by Ruth Firmeza. Manila, Philippines, 1991

Ocampo, Sonora.”The Cagayan Valley: 17 Years of Fighting” Manila Standard, June 13, 1987

2 NPA Political Leaders among 4 killed in Ecija.” Bulletin Today, June 22, 1976

“VILLACILLO, Venerando D.” from http://www.bantayog.org/?p=183,retrieved on July 13, 2016

“Manuel L. Hizon Jr.” Bantayog ng mga Bayani Heroes and Martyrs Folder

 

AQUINO, Eduardo Q.

 

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Amid the current revisionist trends, the story of Eduardo “Ed” Q. Aquino must be told and retold again to disabuse the present generation of the lies purveyed about Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law.  For here was a spoiled brat from a prominent family in the province who transformed into a hardcore anti-dictatorship warrior at an age when young boys of today would rather think of girls and spend most of their time playing online games.

Personal background

Ed Aquino was the youngest in a brood of seven that blessed the marriage of Marcial Aquino and Victoria Quinto, both of Mapandan, Pangasinan.  The Aquino family was considered then as one of the most conservative and affluent families in the town. Ed was everyone’s beloved “bunso” and they all loved to spoil him with gifts and favors when he was a student in Mapandan’s public elementary and secondary schools. He always wore the best clothes and always had the best accessories. His family wanted him to become a lawyer as this was the profession that the family sorely lacked. Thus, when Ed passed the UP entrance exam, everyone was assured that he would be getting also the best education for lawyers in the entire country.But the year he entered UP Diliman was a tumultuous year. It was the height of the Vietnam War and the anti-war protests in Manila were reaching a certain crescendo. These rallies were likewise directed at the Marcos government whose political machinations to institute Martial Law were becoming clearer on a weekly basis.

 

History of political involvement

Barely out of his teens, Ed was initially at a loss amid all these events. After all, he was the sheltered and spoiled “fashionista” from the province. Ed longed for the usual warmth and bonds of a family. At the same time, he was gradually being awakened to the harsh realities of the times. These developments would find answers in a new organization he would soon join - a newly-established fraternity that sought to remake the conventional fraternity image and orientation inside the UP campus: the Samahan ng Kabataang Pilipino (better known as Sigma Kappa Pi). This fraternity wanted to relive the revolutionary brotherhood of the Katipunan and sought to forge a deeper commitment among its members through its nationalistic rituals and political philosophy.It used Katipunan pedigrees such as “Supremo” and “Kartilya” to describe its leader and its newsletter.

It wasn’t long before Ed the “bunso” became one of the “kuya” of his fraternity brothers in terms of awareness, daring and commitment. He read voraciously and attended the discussion groups inside the UP campus. To top it all, he wanted to be at the center of any militant action. When the First Quarter Storm of 1970 occurred, Ed along with fraternity brothers were at the forefront of the student siege of Malacanang, acting as the so-called “DUs” (defensive units) that served as buffer between the main bulk of the rallyists and the police.

The violent encounters with the military and police units of the increasingly-violent Marcos government pushed many into deeper and deeper radicalization. But by this time, Ed had already gone far ahead. In the aftermath of the FQS, several of his fraternity brothers talked about going to the most remote parts of the country where State power was weakest. They wanted to organize the poor and the downtrodden to prepare them for the intensifying struggle against the Marcos government.They wanted to put in operation the popular slogan of the era: Serve the People. Ed enthusiastically volunteered. Thus in late May 1970, together with two of his fraternity brods, Ed sailed for Dadiangas (now General Santos City) in Mindanao.

It was purely a fraternity initiative. The fare, clothing and meager allowances they brought were solicited from the rank-and-file of the brotherhood who sold books and other items to finance the daring expedition. In Dadiangas, the three young men immersed themselves with the locals, the students, the intellectuals and professionals, and finally, the banana plantation workers of DOLE-STANFILCO (Standard Fruits Company). They even published a newsletter to raise the level of awareness of these folks in national affairs especially about the creeping martial law and increasing US intervention. And in instances when the money and supplies from the fraternity in Manila did not reach them on time or were inadequate, they worked part-time in hilly coconut farms to sustain themselves. Sometimes they only had bananas for meals. At other times, they would go fishing for mudfish in the swamps to afford themselves a decent meal. Ed’s expensive clothes were totally wasted in the foot-deep mountain mud. He was a spoiled fashionista no more but a humble servant of the people.

In 1971, however, Ed’s distraught family was able to track him down and one of his brothers went to Mindanao to fetch him. Ed was brought back to Manila and was enrolled in San Beda to keep him away from the fraternity. Ed relented but kept constantly in touch with his fraternity brothers and was always curious about the status of the work they started in Mindanao. During this brief interregnum, Ed took seriously his studies in San Beda and looked forward to becoming a lawyer for the people.

But when Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus on August 1971, Ed was completely distressed. Worried about the Dadiangas folks, he went back briefly to Mindanao and turned over the organizing work they started to the national democratic organization there. And when Marcos finally declared martial law the following year, like thousands of activists of that time, Ed was placed at a crossroads. He knew that he was likely to be arrested by the Marcos regime given his previous organizing activities in Mindanao so he chose to fight. In consideration of his parents and family who were distressed by his Mindanao work, Ed together with another fraternity brother chose an arena of struggle closer to home: Tarlac.

Circumstance of death

Tarlac was a hotbed of resistance because it was the bailiwick of Benigno“Ninoy” Aquino and was also the birthplace of the New People’s Army.  Ed and his comrades organized the peasants and prepared them for the struggle against the militarization of the area. Student militants from other universities fondly remember Ed when they trooped to the area: this tall, lanky guy obviously from a well-off sheltered background but who was determining their physical and mental fitness to fight as guerrilla warriors. Ed was in his element. His previous experiences in Mindanao cut him above the rest of the numerous student militants who were just being introduced to rural life.

On April 23, 1973, however, government troopers from Camp Macabulos surrounded a nipa hut in Barangay Pag-asa where Ed and other peasant activists were conducting a meeting. Not interested at all in making an arrest, the soldiers just strafed the hut, immediately killing Ed and two others. The incident was reported in major newspapers and the Marcos government claimed it was a bloody encounter. Ed’s bullet-riddled body would be claimed days later by members of his family, some of whom were even briefly detained and interrogated by the military.

Impact on family and friends

All these years, Eduardo Quinto Aquino’s brief but heroic life was celebrated only within his fraternity’s circles whenever it gathered on important occasions because the path he chose represented the highest fraternity ideals and aspirations. Years back, he was conferred the fraternity’s highest honor, the “Gawad Nasyonalismo” award in fitting recognition of this young man who could have easily aspired for fame, fortune and power but chose instead to consecrate his life to giving hope to the faceless, the nameless and the destitute of this land.

 

Born    January 16, 1953 in Mapandan, Pangasinan

Died    April 23, 1973 in Sitio Pagasa, Tarlac, Tarlac

Occupation      Student

Parents            Marcial Aquino and Victoria Quinto, both of Mapandan, Pangasinan

Siblings            Seven               Birth sequence of martyr: youngest

Education

Primary           Mapandan Elementary School, Pangasinan

Secondary       Mapandan High School, Pangasinan

College                        University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

A.B. in Political Science, 1969-1970

San Beda College, Manila, 1971

Extra-curricular          Member, UP Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity

 

Sources

Bantayog profile form accomplished by Dr. Rodolfo Q. Aquino, brother

Bantayog Profile form (2nd page – history of political involvement) accomplished by Rey S. Mendoza and Lito O. San Antonio and corroborated by Luzvimindo David, fraternity brothers

Narrative by Rey S. Mendoza, fraternity brother

Copies of documents submitted to the Human Rights Victims Claims Board under RA 10368:

Application Form

Birth Certificate of Eduardo Q. Aquino

Death Certificate of Eduardo Q. Aquino

Various photographs

 

ANASTACIO, Marciano Jr., P.

anastacio-marciano

Marciano Anastacio, Chuck to his friends and family, was a compassionate and generous person, who often reminded his younger sisters of the values of being humble and generous.  With his natural warmth, Chuck easily related with people, young or old, rich or poor. He took food from the family pantry to give to poor neighbors next door. Chuck did not think twice about parting with his clothes and money if he thought someone needed them more than he did.

Chuck, however, went through a difficult adolescence. He figured in neighborhood brawls and indulged in drugs and alcohol. He moved from one school to another and could not hold on to any job. He became the proverbial tambay, spending his days hanging out with friends, drinking in front of sari-sari stores and warring with gangs from other neighborhoods.

Chuck’s life began to take direction when he met an activist who showed him facets of Philippine society he had never seen before. He began to question his own life, started reading progressive literature and eventually became an activist himself.  He was at this time enrolled in a school studying to become a pilot. He decided to drop out and devote himself to fulltime organizing in the urban poor communities in Makati’s fourth district.

History of Political Involvement

Chuck turned out to be a gifted mover and organizer. He organized the youth for anti-drug campaigns and sports contests. Partly because of his efforts, the community petitioned the municipal government to build a community hall. Gradually, Chuck shook off his earlierapathy and lack of direction and inspired the community he worked with to do the same.

In 1975, Chuck helped organize the workers in the now famous La Tondeña strike, where about 800 workers held a sit-down strike to demand the regularization of contractuals and the reinstatement of retrenched temporary workers. That strike was the first under martial law and inspired a strike wave in Metro Manila. It broke the silence of workers, peasants, the youth, and professionals alike.

Chuck eventually became a union organizer in Gelmart Industries Philippines, one of the largest multinational companies in the country during that time. His union work came between him and his mother as his stepfather was a Gelmart executive. But he kept on helping the workers press for higher wages, and for safer and less repressive conditions at the workplace.

Everywhere he went, Chuck was indefatigable in his efforts to raise awareness of the Marcos government’s excesses and of the country’s problems. Mobilizing his community for a noise barrage called by the opposition party Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN) on the eve of the 1978 elections for the Interim Batasang Pambansa, he was elated to find even his conservative sisters among the crowd, calling for freedom and reforms in government.

In 1980, a military agent shot him in the face and left him to die in an isolated garbage dump in Cavite. But Chuck stuck tenaciously to life. He crawled his way to the highway where ironically a policeman (then called Metrocom) found him and brought him to the hospital. He was under intensive care for more than a month. The bullet went through the right side of his cheek and out his throat. He never fully recovered his voice.

Chuck and his family were under constant military surveillance at the hospital. As it was martial law and Chuck could identify his attacker, he and his family realized his life was still in danger. Thus, his friends from the labor unions worked with the hospital’s doctors to have him moved to another hospital where he recuperated.

As soon as he was back on his feet, Chuck fled to the Sierra Madre mountains in the Quezon- Bicol Region and joined the guerrilla resistance. By 1981, he was a community organizer for the NPA in Camarines Sur. He helped farmers settle land disputes and put up cooperatives. The reformed drunkard led anti-gambling campaigns. He knew he also had to build rapport with influential figures so he befriended the millers and merchants.

 

Chuck tried to get farmers to petition for more equitable land distribution with a powerful landlord. But the landlord sought military help, and the farmers’ petition went nowhere. His most notable accomplishment in Camarines was the installation of the suyuan, a system whereby farmers cooperated and coordinated so that everyone could harvest on time. The system united and strengthened the community.

Chuck also helped organize rallies against widespread human rights violations, mobilizing communities to protest the Marcos administration’s abuses.  In 1981,Chuck was among the organizers of a massive protest rally in Sipocot, not far from where four martyrs would fall from indiscriminate firing by the military in what would be known as the Daet Massacre.

Co-activist Bobbie Jopson says of Chuck: “He was serious in his work but also has a wit that would make us all laugh. We often had community assemblies and even with his hoarse voice (because of the bullet that damaged his windpipe), he would try to lead the people in chanting. He was a very good comrade and friend who I will always cherish and remember."

Manner and Circumstances of Death

On December 18,1982, Chuck and a companion farmer were ambushed by soldiers. Witnesses saw them captured alive, but the following day, their bodies,which bore several gunshot wounds,were paraded in front of the municipal hall of San Jose Panganiban.  Chuck’s family, with the help of Task Force Detainees and the parish of Paracale, managed to claim his body two months later. The body was wrapped in plastic then thrown in a dumpsite near the town cemetery.

Despite the fecklessness of his youth, Chuck answered the call to serve and thus changed his life for the better. Though this decision would eventually cost him his life, his service and sacrifice left an indelible mark on the lives of those whose livelihoods he fought to protect. He was 27.

BORN              May 11, 1955 in Baguio City

DIED                December 18, 1982 in San Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte

PARENTS         MarcialAnastacio and Milagros Peñaflor

Siblings            1 brother, 5 sistersBirth sequence of hero: 3rd

EDUCATION

Elementary                 St. Theresa’s College, Baguio City

St. Louis University

High School                St. Louis University, Baguio City

College                          University of the East, Manila

Sources

Bantayog Profile Sheet accomplished by Mylene Anastacio and Rina A. Sadorra, sisters

MARTYR Profile Sheet accomplished by Teresa A. Jover, sister

Narrative sent in by the family, May 31, 2016 (corroborated by MariyaJopsonLagman)

E-mail communication between Bantayog Research and Rina A. Sadorra, sister, containing a brief narrative from Bobbie Jopson, September 6, 2016.

Interviews with:

MyleneAnastacio, sister of nominee, Quezon City, 1986

Fides H., friend, 1986

Narrative of Audie L. Dela Cruz, Indirect Services Desk, Task Force Detainees, 2016

Reaping the Whirlwind



(This is a re-post of Carol Pagaduan-Araullo's Streetwise column Reaping the whirlwind originally posted at Businessworld Online)
In the end you cannot cheat history. History will not err in its judgement because no matter how you fabricate achievements, glorify events or conceal truths, a true people’s history will eventually unmask the fake heroes and the judgement on them will be harsh and severe. -- Renato Constantino, September 24, 1975

Finally, the Marcoses have had their way, a hero’s burial for their despot-patriarch at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), but without the pomp and grandeur of a state funeral that they had been dreaming of for decades. On the contrary, they had to settle for a simple military funeral and an elaborate subterfuge -- false public announcements about funeral arrangements; the secret airlifting of the Marcos remains from Batac, Ilocos Sur to Manila courtesy of a military chopper; and a formidable police security cordon to prevent anticipated protesters, the mass media and the general public from entering the LNMB during interment rites.

So why didn’t the Marcoses choose to churn out a grand palabas out of the event, Imeldific no less, complete with a horde of Marcos loyalists, to lend it a semblance of popular acclaim?

The obvious reason was to throw off those vehemently opposed to such a travesty -- Martial Law victims, human rights advocates, civil libertarians, advocates of clean government and mass organizations of the Left that have persistently thrown legal and political obstacles in their way.

The lifting of the status quo ante order of the Supreme Court was seized by the Marcoses and their political patron, President Rodrigo Duterte, to hurriedly and sneakily carry out the fait accompli, despite a 15-day period in which petitioners could have filed their motion for reconsideration.

The collusion between the Marcoses and President Duterte is clear and can no longer be denied nor downplayed. The latter justified and cleared the way to the hero’s burial by whitewashing Ferdinand Marcos’s brutal one-man rule and its legacy of gross human rights violations, grand larceny of the public coffers, destruction of the national economy and treasonous puppetry to foreign dictates. To top it off, Mr. Duterte deliberately glossed over the judgement of history -- a history made by an aroused and enraged people -- of ousting the hated tyrant.

After the fact, Imee Marcos once more calls for healing and unity ad nauseam. Mr. Duterte’s spokespersons pretend that he did not know that the burial would be taking place so soon. AFP and PNP officials pretended they merely took their cues from the Marcos family. And President Duterte for his part wants people to believe that he merely did his legal duty, smugly confident that his current popularity would weather any consequent political fallout.

With the dastardly connivance of Mr. Duterte, the Marcos family is attempting nothing less than the rewrite of history. The same-day video of the burial released by the Marcoses flaunt for all to see that indeed he received the full trappings of a hero’s burial. Years from now, it will be the only extant documentation of that infamous event.

But the people see through the charade.

The explosion of protests as news of the Marcos burial broke is a portent of what lies ahead. The expressions of rage and condemnation were widespread both in Metro Manila and in other urban centers where people massed up and held protest actions.

All were one in saying “Marcos is no hero” and decrying the indecent haste with which the Duterte administration carried out the bidding of the Marcoses. Some people felt duped; some betrayed. All were visibly angry and vowed to exact some form of retribution including disinterring the Marcos remains from its undeserved resting place. There were spontaneous expressions of solidarity from motorists and other passers by who made impromptu placards or honked their horns.

Prominent were not only human rights victims or their families and those who lived through the horrors of Martial Rule but many students from various university campuses as well as young professionals. This youthful character of the protests seems to belie the notion that “millennials” have tuned out the issue and just don’t care.

The activists in the crowd took pains to highlight the real heroes who fought against the dictatorship including the thousands of young people who went underground to join the revolutionary resistance. They organized in the slum areas, among striking workers and dispossessed peasants. They joined the New People’s Army and the Moro National Liberation Front to wage an armed struggle to weaken the fascist military as well as the dreaded constabulary force. As they were in the forefront of the anti-dictatorship struggle, they bore the brunt of the fascist state’s repression. They constitute the overwhelming majority of martyrs as well as victims of enforced disappearance, torture, and illegal arrest and detention.

The Marcoses and their cohorts, most especially Mr. Duterte, may think all these protests will blow over consistent with the conventional wisdom that Filipinos have a short memory or are prone to amnesia.

On the contrary, they themselves provide the reason why these protests are only the beginning. The Marcoses will not stop at historical revisionism.

The Marcoses’ real goal is not so much to establish Marcos’s heroism -- for the Marcoses know best the lies behind this -- but to bury the truth along with the dictator’s corpse, erase from our national psyche the nightmares of the Marcos era, and clear the grounds for a Marcos Restoration. Their next stop is Malacañan Palace no less. As many have correctly surmised, Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. sees himself as the rightful successor to his father and the anointed one to carry on the Marcosian legacy.

As for Mr. Duterte, this shameful episode of willful, premeditated complicity with the Marcoses will have its political costs. His authoritarian slip is already showing what with his undisguised admiration for the dictator Marcos; his propensity for legal short cuts that not only mean lack of due process but a rising pile of dead bodies in his vaunted “war on drugs”; his unqualified backing for and granting blanket impunity to police and military operations masquerading as counter-drug/counter-terrorist that are part and parcel of abusive counter-insurgency operations or even hit jobs by questionable quarters; and his threat to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and resurrect the Philippine Constabulary or a militarized police force.

Mr. Duterte’s credibility as a reforming president is steadily being eroded especially with no real headway in basic socioeconomic reforms; his flip flopping over his foreign policy pronouncements; the continuing militarization of the countryside; and the non-release of over 400 political prisoners crucial to progress in peace negotiations with the NDFP. He has not taken a single step to stop the government policy of criminalizing political offenses such as rebellion three months after he declared he would do so, “otherwise we will never have peace because there will always be in injustice.”

There are attempts to reduce the Marcos hero’s burial as part of the continuing rivalry between the Marcoses and the Aquinos.

Unfortunately, the attempt of the Yellow Crowd to write history from the narrow perspective of those who gained the most from EDSA 1, the Cojuangco-Aquinos and their retinue, fuels this false dichotomy. And the narrative, discredited and hollow as it is, is the kind that the Yellows are trying to recycle even now. Their obvious agenda is to bring about the failure and eventual downfall of the Duterte presidency, and the return of the Liberal Party to power.

In the final analysis, history eventually gets to be written by those who make it -- by the masses of people who decide to take their destiny into their own hands. They are the real heroes, and they know full well who stands with them and who does not.

(Carol Pagaduan-Araullo is a medical doctor by training, social activist by choice, columnist by accident, happy partner to a liberated spouse and proud mother of two. carol_araullo@yahoo.com)

Villain in Hero's Guise



(This is a repost of Luis V. Teodoro's November 27, 2016 Vantage Point column: Villain in hero's guise posted at Bulatlat.com and also published at Business World)

The Libingan ng mga Bayani is not, as its name suggests, literally a heroes’ cemetery. Soldiers, policemen, and former Philippine presidents can be buried there, apparently on the tenuous presumption that by having worn a police or military uniform, or being elected to the Philippine presidency, an individual becomes a hero — meaning an exemplar of humanity, and worthy of emulation for, presumably, having risen above the limits of personal, familial, and class interests in behalf of country and people.

Most dictionaries define heroes and heroism in less socially redeeming terms. A hero, says the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities,” or “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability.”

These definitions are unfortunately based on the pretensions of “popular” culture (a basketball star can in these terms qualify as a hero. So can mythical figures like Hercules, and such US pop culture creations as Batman, who is in fact described as more than a hero, he being a “superhero”).

These definitions also ignore what makes an individual a hero in societies struggling for freedom, democracy, and authentic development, and deny the contributions to humanity of those men and women who, at the cost of their fortunes and even lives, commit themselves to the making of societies better than those that have been imposed on their peoples by colonial and imperial rule and/or by homegrown tyranny.

Like many other concepts, what heroes and heroism are can only be meaningfully understood in their historical, political and social contexts. In countries like the Philippines, heroism consists of the capacity to transcend one’s interests in behalf of the greater good — the hero is an individual who contributes to the betterment of the lives of his or her people through whatever means including, although not limited to, the use of arms.

Neither under the dictionary definition nor the more nuanced one above does Ferdinand Marcos qualify, being not of divine descent, of noble qualities, or of mythological dimensions, and given his villainous assault on the Filipino people. Even his claims to having been an exemplary soldier have been exposed as fraudulent, and the medals he claims to have amassed while fighting the Japanese invaders during World War II exposed as nonexistent by, among other authorities, the late military intelligence officer Bonifacio Gillego.

But what’s even worse is Marcos’s name’s being indelibly linked with the darkest period in recent Philippine history: the Martial Law terror regime during which the dictatorship Marcos erected on the ruins of the first Asian republic savaged the bill of rights, imprisoned a hundred thousand men and women, drove the country into even worst poverty, provoked civil war, transformed the military into a power broker, and destroyed countless lives while he plundered the treasury and amassed wealth almost beyond imagining. He was thus no hero, and was in fact the quintessential villain against whom the many real heroes of the anti-Martial Law resistance fought.

But while only in name is the Libingan a heroes’ cemetery (it was so grandiosely renamed only during the Ramon Magsaysay presidency), by having Ferdinand Marcos buried there the Marcoses, their cronies and allies and their clueless northern hordes nevertheless hope to revise history by burying their dead patriarch’s foul deeds in what many people mistakenly presume to be grounds reserved only for individuals in the same league as Andres Bonifacio and Jose Rizal.



One suspects that these creatures are more than aware of that grand conceit, the haste, and near secrecy with which they caused the burial to take place last Nov. 18 being its outstanding indicator. Although carried out at high noon and accompanied by the usual 21-gun salute, the burial might as well have been done in silence and at midnight, conspiracy — among the Marcos heirs, the Duterte administration and the military — being writ large in it.

President Rodrigo Duterte has himself argued that by allowing the burial he was only implementing the law, but it’s an odd argument from a chief executive who, in various ways, has practically given the police license to ignore such Constitutional niceties as the presumption of innocence and due process. Of even more import is the fact that the Supreme Court decision allowing the burial, because still under appeal, is yet to be final and executory, which makes the legality of the burial at least debatable.

For this travesty, the Duterte administration must be held to account. The burial, for both its symbolic and literal worth, would revise history and bury the past under a ton of lies as well as marble and concrete. But recent events indicate that the Marcoses and their co-conspirators may have outsmarted themselves.

Their subterfuge is creating — or at least contributing to — a vast reawakening among so-called millennials, particularly students from the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, Miriam College and even the University of Santo Tomas, and driving the making of a broad national united front not only against the burial but also against the return of authoritarian rule.

The latter has emerged as a distinct possibility less than six months into the Duterte administration, which has proposed the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus supposedly as an option in its war on drugs.

This is as deceptive as well as ignorant and neglectful of the lessons of history as the Duterte administration’s allowing the burial of the Marcos remains at the Libingan,

In 1971 Marcos suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus so his administration could arrest dissenters without charges. It turned out to be the prelude to his declaration of Martial Law in 1972.

These unheroic deeds led to the arrest of, initially, dozens of individuals, and later, tens of thousands, many of whom were tortured, detained for years at a time without charges, or summarily killed. But these same travesties also provoked the most heroic acts of defiance and opposition, among them demonstrations conducted at the risk of life and limb, the publication and distribution of clandestine newspapers, and armed resistance.

The real heroes were out there, fighting the villains and the villainy of the Marcos dictatorship, and demonstrating in the process that authentic heroism can and will arise when most needed by this country and its people. The heroes of the people will surely rise again, this time from among the mass opposition to the Marcos burial at the Libingan and from those determined to prevent the return of authoritarian rule. Ignorant of the lessons of history, the Marcoses and their co-conspirators have won only a temporary and deceptive victory.

(Luis V. Teodoro is on Facebook and Twitter (@luisteodoro). The views expressed are his own and do not represent the views of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. www.luisteodoro.com Published in Business World Nov. 25, 2016)

Photos from CNN and Bulatlat.

#BlackFriday Protest Lights Up the Darkness

#BlackFriday Watch as Filipinos unite and show their opposition in a high-tech symbolic way against the burial of Marcos at the Libingan  ng mga Bayani. Coverage from Altermidya and CARMMA.

#BlackFriday

The Annual Honoring of Martyrs and Heroes 2016

Bantayog ng mga Bayani announces the addition of nineteen names to its roster of martyrs and heroes this year. They are Marciano P. Anastacio Jr., Eduardo Q. Aquino, Fortunato Camus, Benjamin H. Cervantes, Hernando M. Cortez, Edgardo G. Dojillo, Manuel G. Dorotan, Lourdes P. Estella-Simbulan, Ricardo P. Filio, Margarita F. Gomez, Leticia Jimenez-Magsanoc, Joel Cecilio O. Jose, Julio Xavier Labayen, OCD, Romulo Peralta, Jovito R. Salonga, Jose T. Tangente, Simplicio D. Villados, Danilo P. Vizmanos and Antonio L. Zumel.

bantayog_artwork-invitation-final

Their names, etched on the Wall of Remembrance, will be unveiled during the Annual Honoring of Martyrs and Heroes on November 30, 2016, 4pm, at the Bantayog Center grounds. Guest of Honor and Speaker will be the Hon. Leonor M. Briones, Secretary of the Department of Education. A concert, Musical Journey with Heroes featuring Paul Galang, follows the program.

The Historic Katipunan March Vs Marcos Burial

Watch this historic act of unity last November 18, 2016 of the people, communities, schools, and universities in the Diliman Katipunan area against historical revisionism and Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Coverage from Altermidya and CARMMA. Photo from Tinig ng Plaridel.

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