CALIXTO, Leopoldo Jr.

calixto leopoldo pic

Leopoldo Calixto, who was Babes to friends, was raised in an old post-war Manila district. His father owned a motorshop and later a furniture-shop. His mother was a nurse, later becoming head nurse at the Philippine General Hospital.

In college, Babes organized student groups to protest police brutality and demand school reforms.

He contributed articles to the AvantGarde, the school paper at Mapua, writing mostly about fraternities, particularly their response to the imminence of martial law. He helped revive the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) in 1970 in the face of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Babes met with the staff of various student papers, urging them to tackle school issues and relate them to national issues.

He built a network of out-of-school youth activists in San Andres in Singalong, where he lived, and on the railroad tracks.

After martial law was declared, Babes moved out of Manila to organize resistance to the new regime, choosing the Western Visayas where he had relatives among the Yulos. He described himself as “of the poorer Yulos.”

But he spent most of his time with farmers. He sent news to his family in Manila in small, tightly folded letters where he talked of having to walk barefoot and learning about planting, worlds away from his life in Pasay. But he wrote that he liked his work because it allowed him to help people directly with their problems.

Babes was with an armed organizing team when it met up with paramilitary units in Calinog, Iloilo in February 1974. Babes was wounded in the encounter that followed, but he kept fighting for many hours. He was dead when constabulary soldiers at last dared to approach his hiding place, the following day.

Born 30 July 1945 in Manila
Died 20 February 1974 in Calinog, Iloilo

Parents : Leopoldo Calixto and Elsa Yulo
Education : Elementary - Rafael Palma Elementary School
High School - Philippine School of Arts and Trades
College – Mapua Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering

BALCE, Floro E.

Floro Balce was reared in a poor but happy household, where his parents taught their children such values as honesty, simplicity, hard work and idealism. His father was a docket clerk in a local court.

Floro, called Poloy, excelled in academics, was an active scout member, and competed in declamation and oratorical contests. In 1972, when he was his third year high school, he was given an award as "model student for his exemplary character, creative abilities and special talents, scholastic standing, excellent health and cheerful disposition" from the Children's Museum and Library Inc.

He was in the honor rolls from elementary to college. He graduated valedictorian in grade school and salutatorian in high school. He won a government scholarship in college. He was determined to be a good electrical engineer and studied very hard in the university.
He was active in other fields. He joined the UP Students Catholic Action and chaired its sociocultural committee. He was core group member from 1973 to 1975 of the Molave Kurahaw, an organization of Bicolano students at UP's Molave Residence Hall. He was charter member of UP Ibalon, an organization of Bicol students in UP. His friends said he worked in so many areas it seemed he was campaigning early to become president of the Philippines in the future.

President Ferdinand Marcos had just installed martial law when Poloy came to UP, and it hit him as it had not when he was in Bicol. Friends remembered him asking: "Why is there martial law in the Philippines? Why are there rebels? Why are there poor people, and why are there so many of them compared to rich people? What can I M? Where am I going?"

Floro opened friendships with activists. Between studying his lessons and preparing for exams, he would be found helping write placards and streamers for rallies. But he refused to join activist organizations for some time, believing he was more effective if he did not belong to any organization.

In 1975, he finally joined the Kabataang Makabayan, then already a banned organization. Floro left UP in 1978 and went home to Camarines Sur, where he found fulfillment as a teacher of farmers. He dreamed of someday building a school for the children of the hills. "If I could teach little children the values of kindness and nationalism, that would be pure happiness," he wrote a friend.
In explaining this difficult decision to leave for Bicol, he once wrote: “I have come to terms with my life. My questions about the resistance movement have been sufficiently answered. I know what I want to be with the masses."

But Poloy only had a very short while in Bicol. Soldiers were pouring into his area, creating a level of militarization rarely ever seen in those places. Floro's fledgling group had to go farther and farther away, but the soldiers continued their pursuit. Floro and his team were pushed into a fighting it out. Floro was hurt in the first volley, but he survived long enough to be taken to an army camp in Tigaon, Camarines Sur. He died there several hours later, on the very day he turned 23.

* Born 30 July 1955 in Daet, Camarines Norte
* Died 30 July 1978 in Tigaon, Camarines Norte
* Parents : Monico Balce and Vicenta Elep
* Education : Elementary Abaño Pilot Elementary School, Daet, 1969, valedictorian
High School Camarines Norte High School, 1973, Salutatorian
College University of the Philippines Diliman, BS Electrical Engineering

NGO, Students, Condemn Killing of Youth in PNP Anti-drugs Ops

Reposting this news item from about the killing of EARIST student and Kaibigan Foundation scholar Jefferson Bunuan. Article written by Anne Marxze Umil and originally posted here at Bulatlat.
MANILA – As the government’s “war on drugs” continues to pile up bodies of drug suspects, various groups lambasted police operations, which, they said, do not spare innocent lives.

In a candle-lighting gathering in front of the Eulogio ‘Amang’ Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (Earist) on July 20, students expressed indignation over the death of their school mate, Jefferson Bunuan, 20, a criminology student who was killed with two others in a buy-bust operation in Sta. Ana, Manila on July 18.

The Katipunan ng Mag-aaral at Organisasyon (Kamao-Earist) urged President Rodrigo Duterte to act to stop the “unjust and senseless killings.”

“Pursue a just anti-drug campaign, resolve poverty as root cause of drug addiction and go after big drug syndicates in the country,” the student group said.

Killed with Bunuan were his cousin, Mark Anthony Bunuan, 18, and Jomar “Totong” Manaois, 20.

The Kaibigan Ermita Outreach Foundation Inc. (Keofi), a non-government organization, also condemned the killing of Bunuan, whom they had sponsored as a scholar for the past 11 years. They called on police to investigate “this unjust killing of innocent people.”

In their official Facebook account, Kaibigan Foundation called on police to “stop extra judicial killing and to follow due process and fair hearing on imposing anti-drug campaign.”

“According to Manila Police District Station 6 Chief Superintendent Robert Domingo, their main target was Jomar, but since Jefferson and Mark were there, they also shot them as they were suspected as Jomar’s ‘cohorts,’” the foundation said in their post.

Kaibigan Foundation said Bunuan wanted to become a policeman, to give justice for his father who was killed. Bunuan was also a volunteer of Lambat Sibat, a Philippine National Police crime prevention program.

The post has gone viral in social media with more than 7,000 shares.

NUPL: Illegal Drugs Trade Must Stop; So Must the Savagery Used to Stop It

Here's a statement of the National Union of People's Lawyers on the recent wave of extra-judicial killings.
Let us be crystal clear: The drug menace must stop. Goodness, we hate drugs, too. There should be no two minds about it.

Yet the apparent serial summary executions of alleged street drug users or petty drug lords, which appear sudden, too contrived and predictable, must also stop.

The two are not incompatible. And each of them may be a long, hard, challenging and frustrating undertaking, but you can stop one without automatically or instantly doing the other as a practice or policy.

The madness must stop. Quick-fix savagery and abuse of power by law enforcers, supposedly to quell criminality and illegal drugs—which, wittingly or unwittingly, directly or indirectly, are encouraged, condoned or sanctioned—is a Frankenstein that will haunt us all over time. The cure may turn out to be worse than the illness.

Human rights are not only for the criminals or dregs of society as some may think or believe. It is more to protect the far too many others who are innocent or turn out to be innocent. Enough already.

Secretary General
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers

Altermidya: Summary Executions and the Problem of the Criminal Justice System

Sharing Altermidya's video interview with Atty. Edre Olalia of the National Union of People's Lawyer on the spate of drug-related summary executions.

LAPIS: Stop Extrajudicial Killings!

The League of Authors of Public Interest Songs or LAPIS is an organization of authors of public interest songs who seek to articulate through music, issues that affect society and the everyday lives of people. Recently they released a statement on the spate of extra-judicial killings in the country. Reposting it here from their website.

However you may put it, the fact remain that the new administration has contributed to creating this environment that encouraged the recent spate of extra-judicial killings. Summary executions have already claimed numerous lives. This has to stop!

This impunity, this situation is dangerous! It will encourage criminal minds to use the situation to their benefit. They can also practically kill anyone, their victims for example, and put markings associating them to drug users or pushers and justifying the murder. Soon enough, maybe even activists who are critical of those in power may fall victim to this scheme.

This matter lies at the heart of everything we stand for as public interest musicians. We find it our compelling duty to the people and to the followers of our music to speak up on the issue and stand-up against this killing spree.

Don’t get us wrong, we support without any doubt the efforts to arrest the drug problem in country. It is public interest to eradicate the drug menace. We however challenge the new administration to actively address the issue of these extra-judicial killings, unravel the truth behind these killings, hold the perpetrators accountable, and go instead for the root causes of the problem, including apprehending the big drug lords and their protectors.

We join groups in condemning the killing spree and this culture of impunity. We urge the Filipino public to remain vigilant in safeguarding people’s rights.


LAPIS Board of Trustees
Chickoy Pura, President
Gary Granada, Vice-President
Cooky Chua, Secretary
Bayang Barrios, Treasurer
Lolita Carbon

Karl Ramirez, Executive Director
Ada Tayao, Program Coordinator
Carmela San Pedro, Administrative Officer

For more information you may email us at or txt/call us at +63-932-8906690

BAES, Aloysius U.

Baes Aloysius Ureta
Aloysius “Ochie” Baes was a brilliant Filipino scientist who was active in the movement for democracy and freedom in the Philippines, an environmental expert who has been influential in offering a people-oriented framework in environmental advocacy.

Ochie took his BS chemistry degree at UP Los Baños, graduating cum laude in 1969 (friends say he would have graduated magna cum laude had he not displeased certain school officials). After graduation, he taught chemistry at UP Los Baños and later in Diliman. His teaching stint was interrupted for some time by a period of incarceration under the Marcos dictatorship. In 1982 he left for the United States to pursue studies at the University of Minnesota, completing his doctorate degree with distinction. He taught for a year in a university in Japan, then returned and resumed teaching at UPLB in 1989. Later he turned his sights on environmental concerns.

As a youth, Ochie was courageous and indefatigable. In his fourth year in high school, he led a protest against an oppressive teacher. He is one of the founders of the UP Los Baños chapter of the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) in 1967. He helped organize SDK chapters around the UPLB campus. As chair of the University Student Council in UPLB, Ochie organized student debates and discussion groups. The Council during his term held summer camps where students stayed in rural villages and lived with rural folk. Many UPLB students gained their political consciousness under this program. UPLB was a major presence during protests against oil price increases in 1970, partly through Ochie’s efforts. Ochie led a long protest march from UPLB to Manila in 1971, when then President Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus.

When martial law was declared in 1972, Ochie left the university and went to work organizing farmers in Laguna, He was arrested by martial law authorities in 1973 and released the following year. He returned to teaching but continued to support efforts to organize and teach activists to fight the dictatorship. Even in the United States, he was closely involved with the Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace-USA. After his return from abroad, Ochie helped organize the Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC-Phil.) and was its managing director from 1989 to 2003. He also helped found AGHAM, an organization of nationalist and pro-people scientists.

Ochie was tireless in elucidating a pro-people framework for scientists involved in environmental advocacy. Many groups and networks acknowledge Ochie’s role in helping them spell out their vision, mission and goals in environmental work.
Through his research, Ochie helped expose the adverse environmental and health effects of a coal-fired power plant in Calaca, Batangas. Ochie was one of the brains behind a national campaign against toxic wastes left behind by the US military in the Subic and Clark bases.

Ochie did field studies and community education in mining areas in the province of Marinduque. The field studies encouraged residents and local officials to pursue a campaign for environmental justice, rehabilitation and mining moratorium in the island. He was a member of a fact-finding commission that scrutinized the controversial Lafayette mining, a flagship project of the Arroyo administration.

When the Ormoc flooding tragedy happened in 2004, Ochie predicted future landslides and called on government to immediately identify critical areas and prepare residents. The subsequent tragedies in Quezon, Aurora, and Leyte prove Ochie’s dire predictions.
Ochie’s many talents includes music. He came from a family of musicians. His father was a tenor and a band leader, his mother sang and played the organ, and a brother was a renowned faculty member of the College of Music in UP Diliman. Ochie himself played the piano, flute, guitar, clarinet and other instruments. During his incarceration, Ochie composed a slew of songs that soon became very popular and would later become classic fare among activist and progressive circles. The songs include “Huwad na Kalayaan,” “Mutya,” “Kay Taas ng Pader,” turning prison virtually into a music factory.

Ochie had a heart condition. His health steadily deteriorated, until he died of kidney complications in 2006. With his passing, the country lost a dedicated and brilliant son who gave all that he had to give, his time, energy and talent for his country and people.

Born July 28, 1948, in Los Baños, Laguna
Died December 21, 2006, in Quezon City
Parents Aurora U. and Gerardo E. Baes
Siblings 2nd child of 5 children (3 brothers, 2 sisters)

Elementary Makiling Elementary School
High School UP Rural High School
College BS Agricultural Chemistry (cum laude), UP Los Baños, 1969
Masteral University of Minnesota, USA
Doctorate University of Minnesota, USA


Bautista Manuel

Manuel Bautista had a relaxed childhood growing up in suburban Quezon City. He played soccer and chess with friends, hiking, swimming, and sometimes listening to music. His father was a mechanic and his mother ran a neighborhood store.

At school, he won honors consistently, and in college, was quite a popular figure. He was elected councilor to the college student body and representative to the university student council. He also became active with the college campus paper, the Aggie Green and Gold.

As college councilor, he helped in the establishment of a textbook exchange and rental center at the Los Baños campus of the University of the Philippines. The institution continues to serve UPLB students to this day.

As student council representative, he was one of several campus leaders who in 1969 exposed a controversial project being jointly undertaken by the UP College of Forestry with a foreign chemical company involving the testing of a defoliant that was used by American soldiers in Vietnam. The expose was published in the Philippine Collegian in 1969.

Manny became a tireless militant, doing research and writing for various causes. He joined the UPCA Cultural Society and the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK), both critical of the Marcos government. He was on his senior year when President Ferdinand Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus in 1971. In protest, Manny left the university and joined the underground movement operating in the Southern Tagalog provinces of Laguna and Quezon.

Since he spoke and wrote in both Filipino and English, his first task was understandably the running of an underground newspaper in Southern Tagalog. Manny was its writer and editor, and often its typesetter and proofreader as well.

Running an underground publishing network was risky, especially after Marcos imposed martial law in 1972. Manny and his team had to camouflage their editorial office, particularly the noise of typewriters and mimeographing machines, had to develop safe sources of paper and other materials, and ensure a safe but adequate distribution network.

Each copy that fell into soldiers' hands made them more avid to find the source and to break the network. Manny was arrested in November 1973 and hauled to Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang, Laguna. In December of that year, nine political prisoners prisoners escaped from the camp. Manny was one of them. Manny rejoined the underground, assuming editorship of another underground newspaper in the Quezon-Bicol area. Like missionaries, Manny and his team lived with the impoverished communities, enduring hunger and cold, and working days and nights, in the riskiest conditions, in order to produce their newspaper. It was fulfilling work, but dangerous.

In September 1976, Manny was with a group of guerrillas when it was chanced upon by government troopers in Tagkawayan, Quezon. Manny was killed in the encounter. Surviving comrades took his body and buried him in an unmarked grave. He had just turned 30.

* Born 25 July 1946 in Manila
* Died September 1976 in Tagkawayan, Quezon
* Parents: Uldarico and Susan Bautista
* Education : Elementary - Pura V. Kalaw Elementary School, Quezon City
High School - University of the Philippines High School, Diliman, Quezon City
College – UP Los Baños, Laguna, 4th year BS Economics


Landrito Vergel Edquilane

Vergel Landrito, "Butch" to his friends, had a normal and ordinary childhood growing in a quiet middle class family. His childhood was unremarkable. His mother remembers him as a friendly child with an almost adult concern for weaker playmates.

Butch was in his late teens when he started to show interest in organizations. The first he helped organize he named Black Cats, a neighborhood barkada and basketball team. He became its leader.

At that time in the late 1960s, an intellectual ferment was brewing at the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines. Butch's family lived in Area 2, a government housing project for members of the faculty.

Butch came into contact with a militant group of students called the Samahang Demokratiko ng mga Kabataan (SDK), and soon Butch made most of his Black Cats friends the core of the SDK chapter in Area 2. Butch and his friends held study sessions. Butch attended teach ins at the front steps of the UP Arts and Sciences building. He joined mass actions. He read the manifestos of various groups. He recruited for the SDK

In 1969, an unexpected twist of events changed Butch's life. Butch’s Beta Sigma fraternity became involved in a rumble with another fraternity, the Upsilon Sigma Phi. The rumble resulted in the death of one Upsilonian member and the suspension from UP of Butch, among other Beta Sigmans. Butch never returned to the university.

He became more politically involved. He joined programs that organized exposure and immersion trips to urban poor areas. He started spending time in a community in Tandang Sora, Quezon City, and in another community in Old Balara, also in Quezon City. Soon he was organizing SDK chapters in these places. In 1970, he left the family home to move to an urban poor community in Tandang Sora. He was by then working fulltime as an SDK community organizer. Butch spoke plainly and had a sense of humor. He never spoke above people. He had ways of telling the truth as he believed in them.

The following year he joined an armed propaganda unit of the New People's Army operating in the Tarlac-Zambales boundary, which was surrounded by Aeta communities. For months, Butch moved about the area, but with increasing difficulty. Sometimes he did organizing work inside the Crow Valley, still under American jurisdiction.

In April 1972, Butch's group figured in a military encounter in Botolan, Zambales, where everyone in his team was killed.

In Zambales today, Butch is remembered as that even tempered person, who taught Aetas and other locals protest songs. He died a young 22 year old, never really reaching full adulthood, but in Zambales some residents regard him as a worthy warrior.

Born 27 July 1950 in Quezon City
Died 25 April 1972 in Botolan, Zambales
Parents : Maximo Landrito Jr and Paz Edquilane
Education : Elementary - UP Elementary School
High School - UP High School
College - University of the Philippines, Civil engineering (up to 3rd year only)

PASTOR, Fernando T. Sr.


Northern Luzon under the Marcos dictatorship was regarded as “Marcos country,” where local officials and institutions were held in the grip of individuals who exercised authority through terrorism, control of resources and of course the impunity they enjoyed.

The province of Quirino was part of this region, and it was ruled by Orlando Dulay, once the constabulary commander of the province, then its governor and later, assemblyman or representative in the Batasang Pambansa. Dulay was the provincial coordinator of the Marcos political party, Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), and his residence was the KBL headquarters.

Dulay treated the province as his personal kingdom. He had his own private army composed of militiamen and discharged soldiers. He used them to take over land and other properties, to intimidate his enemies and to sow fear and terror among the people. No wonder, there was “peace and order” in the area.

Fernando T. Pastor was one of those community leaders who were forced to keep silent about the abuses that were going on. When President Marcos declared martial law in 1972, he had been serving for four years as barangay captain of Rizal, in Diffun municipality. He was a popular leader who managed to produce good results: a barangay hall was built and roads were repaired. Everyone was encouraged to participate in barangay activities. He always sympathized with the common folk, probably because he was born to a poor family in Tayug, Pangasinan, and it was as a working student that he was able to earn his degree in sacred literature at the Philippine Bible College in Baguio City.

Being a preacher of the US-based Church of Christ, Pastor devoted himself to conducting services, teaching religious classes in high school, and reading the Bible and a wide range of materials. He loved to preach and to debate about religious precepts.

In 1982, Pastor started a fish farm in Cabarroguis, Quirino where the family came to live. He was a good provider, his wife Cristeta said, going out to fish all night long when needed, in order to put food on the table for his children. He pioneered the organization of the Fishpond Operators Association of Quirino, and was later elected its president.

But when snap presidential polls were called in 1985, Pastor decided it was no longer time to keep quiet. He actively campaigned for Corazon Aquino. He became municipal coordinator of the United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO) and its provincial vice-chair. He went around campaigning, urging people to vote for Aquino because "Marcos is old and has been in power for so long… let’s try a young and fresh administration."

That was not what Dulay liked to hear. Pastor began receiving threats to his life. Someone he knew, who worked for the governor, told him: "Better stop campaigning for Cory. The boss is not pleased." Apparently, the last straw was when Pastor ignored Dulay's summons to come and talk with him.

On February 6, 1986, eve of the snap presidential elections, Pastor, his oldest son Fernando Pastor Jr. and colleague Francisco Laurella were walking on their way home to Cabarroguis when they were abducted by Dulay himself and two of his men. The three UNIDO campaigners were taken to Dulay’s residence and kept inside a van for three days. As Pastor and Laurella pleaded to be spared for the sake of their children, Dulay was said to have shrugged and commented: "This is your last night."

The ravaged bodies of the younger Pastor and Francisco Laurella were found near a ravine three days later, and that of the elder Pastor five days after. They had been tortured and mutilated.

The Pastor family hurriedly left the province in fear and despair, their livelihood in shambles. Dulay was eventually charged with the deaths of the three men and, in 1990, sentenced to life imprisonment by the Quezon City regional trial court. He was also ordered to indemnify their families.

PARENTS Maximo Pastor and Maria Tamayo
SPOUSE / CHILDREN Cristeta Ceazar / 6

College: Luna Colleges, Tayug, Pangasinan; Philippine Bible College, Baguio City

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