bantayog.foundation

bantayog.foundation

VALCOS, Danilo C. Jr.

valcos

When Danilo Valcos Jr. was born, Ferdinand Marcos was already president of the Philippines, and so he hardly remembered a time when the country had not been under martial law. He was the youngest of four boys, and his parents were able to indulge him; he and his friends were typical teenagers, playing pranks and trying to act smart. At home, he was a helpful boy in a close-knit family.

Political issues did not interest him, not until the assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983. Then he began to pay attention. He joined the League of Filipino Students (LFS) chapter in his town, and started joining rallies and marches. His leadership qualities started to emerge, and in 1984 he was elected vice-chair of the local LFS chapter. He also became an active campaigner for student rights and welfare, successfully leading a student boycott to protest the National Service Law which required students to undergo military training. At the time he was a senior in business administration.

His involvement in the political struggle against the dictatorship was a serious matter for him. In a letter to his parents in September 1985, which he signed “ang inyong aktibistang supling” (your activist son), he expressed the wish that their family would still be there on the day of Paglayang Bayan (national liberation). In that same letter, he set down a truth that he had found out for himself, what he called “Prinsipyo ni Danjun”:

“Ang paglilingkod at paghahandog kung walang nakaugat na pag-ibig ay walang kabuluhan at dakong huli ito ay kasakiman!!” (To serve and to offer, without love, is worthless and it can only be called greed.)

Only weeks after writing this letter, Valcos was killed when Manila police broke through the ranks of a march-rally commemorating Agrarian Reform Week. Organized by the newly-formed Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, thousands of farmers and their supporters demanded price support for their produce, lower prices for farm inputs, an end to militarization, genuine land reform.

The marchers were crossing Taft Avenue when five patrol cars rammed their ranks. Valcos had been with the Bulacan contingent, but rushed towards the commotion when he saw that some of the protestors had been hurt. The police fired their guns, and the rallyists retaliated by throwing stones. At this point, Valcos was hit in the head by a bullet. Another marcher, Emmanuel Lazo, died right there on the pavement.

Valcos was rushed to the nearby Philippine General Hospital where he lay comatose for five days, until he died on October 26. He was only 19 years old.

PARENTS Danilo and Gloria Valcos

EDUCATION
Elementary: Baliwag South Elementary School, Baliwag, Bulacan
Secondary: Mariano Ponce High School, Baliwag, Bulacan
College: Manila Central University, Metro Manila

VALERIO, Nilo C.

valerio

Nilo Valerio wanted to be a priest, probably because he was inspired by two uncles who were priests (one of them a bishop), and his own father, who was a former seminarian and who raised his six children in piety. He had the disposition for it, being a quiet and serious boy, happy to spend his time reading, in Pangasinan where his family lived a while, even by candlelight.

Entering the minor seminary of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in 1962, for the next 13 years he lived and studied to become a priest. The First Quarter Storm saw him a college student at the major seminary in Tagaytay. Talk about theology of liberation had seeped into his consciousness. He started to spend his free time with the rural folk around the seminary and his summer vacations in distant parishes in Mindoro with the Mangyans, in Batangas, Tarlac and the mountain province of Abra.

After his ordination in 1975, Valerio's first assignment was as assistant parish priest in upland Abra. He knew that trouble was brewing in the area. People were gearing to resist a takeover of their ancestral lands by the Cellophil Resources Corporation. His mission would not be easy: Cellophil was owned by a crony of President Marcos. It had been granted 250,000 hectares of land to use in producing cellulose from tree plantations, and the Presidential Security Command was even said to have escorted its personnel in the beginning.

Valerio’s work included running a grade school and a high school, helping in community projects such as a rural cooperative and a ricemill. He visited far-flung villages, trekking up and down rugged mountains, sometimes on horseback or on foot.

By 1978, a full-blown rebellion had erupted in the province. Villagers were arming themselves to protect their land and their way of life. Valerio, now the parish priest, urged them to exhaust the legal means of defending themselves, but also he chose to support them openly in their struggle against the powerful corporation.

It was not long before the military suspected him not only of being a sympathizer but an actual leader of the rebellious villagers. Government spies tailed him and monitored his activities. His safety had come into serious risk.

On the advice of his friends, Valerio took temporary refuge in Manila. There he spent long hours in soul-searching and in talking with fellow priests and friends, his priesthood in a crisis. Finally he decided that it would be suicidal to return as parish priest. He left the SVD and continued working to serve the people’s interests, this time in the underground guerrilla movement. This commitment took him back to Abra and other Cordillera provinces.

Valerio was killed in 1985, with Resteta Fernandez and Soledad Salvador, during a raid by soldiers in sitio Beyeng, Bakun, Benguet. The bodies of the three were reportedly dumped in a single grave after having been beheaded. Government troops took their heads, attached them to poles and paraded these around several villages. Despite all efforts by the victims’ families, none of the bodies have been found.

PARENTS Epigenio Valerio and Candida Castillejos
SPOUSE / CHILDREN Erlinda Timbreza / 2

EDUCATION
Secondary: Christ the King Minor Seminary, Quezon City
College: Divine Word Major Seminary, Tagaytay City

YAP, Emmanuel R.

yap

As a teenager returning to the Philippines with his family, Emmanuel Yap was unprepared for the contrast between the comfortable life that he had experienced in America and the underdevelopment and poverty that he found in his native country.

Manny Yap’s childhood had been spent in New York City, where his father served for 12 years on the United Nations Human Rights Commission. (Pedro Yap would be appointed to the Supreme Court after the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, and named chief justice by President Corazon Aquino in 1988, although he served for only two and a half months before retiring upon reaching the age of 70.)

A well-mannered, likable boy with a mature intelligence, Yap worked hard to overcome the handicap of being a newcomer and not being fluent in Filipino. At the Ateneo high school, he excelled in academics (graduating salutatorian) as well as in extracurricular activities.

As a student in economics at the Ateneo de Manila University, Yap’s record showed the same pattern of high marks – graduating magna cum laude – accompanied by meaningful involvement in activities outside the classroom. This time he was drawn into organizing for social reform. In 1969, he joined a school project doing community work in the slums of Sapang Palay, bringing food and used clothing, and starting discussion groups among the residents. He wanted to understand their life situation by actually trying to live with them. It was a logical development stemming from his parents’ social concern and political awareness, as well as a missionary spirit imbibed from mentors in the Jesuit school.

With the establishment of the student-activist organization Lakasdiwa, Yap became active in its education department. He familiarized himself with political theory, organized study groups, at the same time conducting relief operations in assisting victims of the strong typhoon that hit Central Luzon in 1970. In the process – deeper study of politics and ideology, side by side with interaction with poor communities and activists of a more radical stripe – Yap realized the limitations of his reform orientation. A rift developed within Lakasdiwa, which was to see the emergence of a more radical group with Yap as its secretary-general.

When the country fell under martial law, Yap continued his schooling by pursuing a master's program at the University of the Philippines School of Economics. While leading a seemingly normal life, however, Yap had joined an underground anti-dictatorship network. He would see his family from time to time, but mostly kept away from their residence in order to evade military surveillance.

On February 14, 1976, Valentine’s Day, the Yap family marked the occasion by having lunch together in a restaurant as they had been doing in the past. After lunch, Manny was dropped off at a street corner; the understanding was that 10 minutes later he would be there to receive the bunch of flowers that he had asked to be bought for him to give away to friends.

When the family car returned with the roses 10 minutes later, Manny was not there. But his family didn’t worry too much about it, until they received an anonymous telephone call a few days later, informing them that he had been picked up by the military and that he had been brought to Camp Crame.

His family did everything to look for him but Manny Yap has never been found.

PARENTS Pedro L. Yap and Flora del Rosario

EDUCATION
Elementary: New York City public school, New York, USA
Secondary: Ateneo de Manila University
College: Ateneo de Manila
Postgraduate: University of the Philippines Diliman

Burying Our Ugly Past Invites Future Abuse

karangalan o kahangalan final

Yesterday was the 96th birthday of the late Jovito R. Salonga, founder, chair and then chair emeritus of Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, Inc. and former Senate President of our country. We take this occasion to remember his contributions to our country and honor his beloved memory by reasserting once again our foundation’s basic stand on what it takes to be a hero in our country, and how we can move on towards justice and reconciliation for the sake of national unity.

Senator Salonga’s guidance serves us well on these points. In a speech he made in 1998 during the annual honoring of heroes and martyrs at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani grounds, he said:

“As long as we continue to remember the martyrdom and the heroism of those who in the darkest period of our nation’s history since 1946 gave their lives that we might become free, and as long as we resolve never again to allow the forces of darkness to prevail, this annual celebration will be truly a day of meaningful tribute to the men and women whom we honor here…

“Sunud-sunod ang mga pangyayari sa ating bansa na dapat ikabahala ng mga nagmamahal sa kalayaan at katotohanan. You will recall there was a move to honor the man who imposed martial law and dictatorial rule by burying him in the Libingan ng mga Bayani and thus making it appear that he too should be acclaimed as a hero. The excuse was a masterpiece of deception, namely that by burying Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, we not only honor him, we can also bury the past. Fortunately, it was the collective resistance of an outraged people which defeated that move…

“What they really want is for us to forget the ugly past instead of facing it and doing something about it – they want us to forget the torture, the salvaging, the disappearances, the extrajudicial executions and assassinations, on top of the plunder of the nation’s wealth, the extortions, the larcenies and the acts of graft and corruption.”

“Ngunit hindi tayo maaaring makalimot …

“The question may be asked, are we not willing to forgive and reconcile with those who caused us so much grief and misery? Yes, we are prepared to forgive and reconcile – but only after truth is recognized and justice is served. Truth and justice first, then forgiveness and reconciliation later for the sake of national unity. For forgiveness without truth is an empty ritual and reconciliation without justice is meaningless, and worse, an invitation to more abuses in the future.”

We repeat the timely warning: Forgiveness without truth is an invitation to more abuse. With these statements in mind, we now address this heartfelt appeal to the incoming Duterte administration:

Heed our heroes. Don’t do it.

2016 libingan statement final v5 scan

A Millennial Reflects on the Life of Sen. Jovito R. Salonga

Quina reflection on Salonga

Hindi Tayo Maaring Makalimot, by Jovito R. Salonga, November 1998

hindi tayo maaring makalimothindi tayo-2

SOLANA, Nicolas Jr., M.

solana pic

Ateneo is a school known to have produced student heroes who died in defense of freedom and democracy in their country. The names Edgar Jopson and Emmanuel Lacaba come to mind. A less known, but no less heroic Atenean, was  Nicolas “Nick” Solana Jr.

Nick was a bright young boy, earning consistently good grades in elementary and high school. He was a natural leader. He acted in school plays and was active cub scout and boy scout. When he was in his senior year in high school, he won an oratorical contest called National Voice of Democracy sponsored by the Jaycees and Meralco. Nick won by a unanimous vote over eight other contestants from other provinces. The tall and lanky Nick awed the audience with his passionate speech, anchoring his defense of democracy on what he felt was the “root of the nation: the family.”

On a scholarship, Nick enrolled at the Ateneo de Manila for college. His new friends called him “a regular guy.” He played basketball, drank and caroused with fellow students, played pranks on friends, always cracking jokes.

Nick loved music. He played the guitar every chance he got. He sang second bass at the Ateneo Glee Club and was part of the chorus that sang at the Ateneo Experimental Theater’s production of T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral. He joined The Ambivalent Crowd, a popular singing group at the time, helping arrange the group’s Davao tour and even hosting some of them at his family’s residence.

Nick became a member of a religious movement of Ateneo students called Days with the Lord, which promoted a joyful and personal kind of Christianity.

After college, Nick went back to Davao City and enrolled at the Ateneo de Davao School of Law. It was 1969, and the country was agitated over then President Marcos’s increasingly repressive rule.  The situation in Mindanao was explosive – a militarized countryside and rural communities reeling from soldiers’ abuses such as massacres, bombings and strafings.

Nick did community work, introducing the Days with the Lord movement to poor people, particularly among Davao City seaside communities. Nick’s easy disposition and excellent communication skills served him well. He won over many people, including neighborhood toughies, to the Christian movement.

But Nick himself was changed in a fundamental way by the misery he became exposed to in these slum areas. Soon, Nick was talking about the need for “land for the landless.” While he continued to pursue his law studies, he joined a group called Malayang Lipunan, which gave aid to victims of calamities as well as farmers protesting a giant banana plantation spraying pesticides (and causing the locals to develop skin diseases). He believed that the farmers should resist the abusive conditions. When elementary school teachers at the Ateneo staged a strike to press for higher wages, Nick rallied fellow students to give their support. He spoke against the “miseducation” of the Filipinos who were being conditioned to serve the interests of the rich classes.

He finished his law studies in 1973 but refused to take the bar in protest of the imposition of martial law the year before. He instead chose to work with a non-government organization, and, by this time, with the left underground movement.

Nick was killed in a military ambush in early April 1975. He had been with an armed group.

Habagat, an underground newsletter, reported that Nick was killed by “three traitors and a PC-CHDF team.” The newsletter said that Nick (referred to as Ka Noni, his revolutionary alias), suffered from five bullet wounds and died instantly. Habagat said that Nick had been working fulltime in the underground for one year when killed. It described Nick as someone coming from a privileged family, but striving hard to live a simple and “proletarian” life.

His family grieved for what Nick had to give up for his beliefs, but they believe that he followed “where his conscience and faith led him.”  People in the slum areas of Davao continue to speak fondly of Nick.

The late poet and fellow Atenean Emannuel Lacaba, who also later died as a revolutionary, wrote the poem “Sa Alaala ni Nick Solana:” Ipaghihiganti namin kayong lahat, / Mga martir, kayong natuklaw ng ahas / Paghawan ng landas tungong / katuktukang, Kasimbigat, Ka Nick, / ng iyong pagpanaw.

Parents                    Paulina Moralizon and Nicolas Solana

Siblings                   1 brother, 3 sisters

Education

Elementary             Davao Central Elem. School, Davao City

High School            Ateneo de Davao, Matina, Davao City

College                    Ateneo de Manila University, AB Economics, 1969

Ateneo de Davao Law School, finished in 1973 but did not take the bar

DEVERATURDA, Dennis Rolando R.

Deveraturda Dennis Rolando Ramirez

Dennis Rolando Deveraturda had a sharp mind, and he dreamed about becoming a lawyer. To study for college, he left his province of Zambales and moved to Manila.

In 1968, he joined the UP Nationalist Corps, thinking to put his free hours to good use.To his surprise, the daily discussions and debates inside the organization absorbed him. He started reading Marx and Victor Perlo. He became not a mere a participant but a discussant on several topics.

When he went home the next summer, he was a fullblown activist. He and his friends held discussion groups in the town plaza, sought out residents in nearby villages and even in farther barrios near the mountains to discuss pressing issues with them, at the same time, helping in the planting and harvesting.

When school opened the following year, Dennis went home on weekends, always visiting with barrio people. He started skipping classes. When scolded by his parents for this, Dennis explained how he thought the social conditions were deteriorating and that he felt the need for reforms. To continue as if nothing was happening, he told his father, was like covering one’s eyes with textbooks in order to be blind to the injustices.

He became active with the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK), sometimes staying the night at the organization’s headquarters for more discussions.

When the writ of habeas corpus was suspended, he felt threatened but he continued to do political work with farmers in Zambales.

In February 1972, soldiers surrounded the house in which Dennis had been staying, seized him and two of his friends. Later, Dennis’ bullet riddled body was recovered by his parents, his body black and blue.

Dennis’ funeral was attended by hundreds of people from all walks of life: farmers, peasants, teachers, neighbors, market vendors, even some town officials. His remains were buried in Iba, Zambales.

 

Born :        12 March 1952 in Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales

Died :          3 February 1972 in Malomboy, Bo. Poong Bato, Botolan, Zambales

Parents :     Juan Deveraturda Jr. and Rosita Ramirez

Education : Elementary - Calapandayan (Subic) Elementary School / Iba Central School

High School - Zambales High School, Iba, Zambales, 1964‑1968

College - University of the Philippines, BS Economics 1968

HOLLERO, Manolo J.

Hollero Manolo Jubelag

Manolo Hollero Sr. was a college student in Manila during the First Quarter Storm and was drawn into the militant student movement. He joined several demonstrations and rallies where, on one occasion, his right hand was hurt by an improvised explosive (“pillbox"). In early 1971, Manolo decided Manila had become too dangerous and went home to Iloilo, where he continued to organize protest activists together with local activists.

In 1974, Manolo was arrested and subsequently detained for seven months at Camp Delgado. He was tortured. After his release, he left Iloilo City and went to join the armed opposition in the hinterlands of central Panay. There he continued his organizing work among the peasantry.

Manolo easily won the affection of the people in the communities he stayed in. He was helpful and sensitive to the needs especially of the poor and the oppressed people. He also showed leadership qualities.

Manolo was killed in November 1977 in Calinog, Iloilo, in circumstances that have not ever been established.

According to his comrade’s accounts, Manolo was hurt in an ambush. He was hit in the leg and unable to run away, so he was captured by the soldiers. But he was brutally tortured and finally killed by his captors on November 3, 1977 in Calinog, Iloilo. The military commander who led the ambush was Captain Nick Roca of the Constabulary Security Unit then operating in Panay island.

When his body was recovered and brought home to Jaro two days later, it bore stab wounds in the neck, ears and body, his right leg almost totally severed,. His hands and feet were broken, and parts of his body bore torture marks. His remains were never autopsied.

Hundreds paid homage during his funeral although it was the height of martial rule.

Parents : Carlos S. Hollero and Angeles Jubelag

Spouse : Nelly Angeles

Children : 2, ages 26 & 28

Education :      Elementary ‑ La Paz Elementary School, La Paz, Iloilo City, 1963

Secondary ‑  Iloilo Provincial High School, La Paz, Iloilo City, 1967

College ‑       Central Philippine University, 1967‑1969

PSBA, Manila (Commerce, undergraduate), 1969‑1971

Bantayog Announces New Museum Hours

Bantayog Museum is now open on Saturdays!

Please be informed of the new museum hours:  TUESDAYS to SATURDAYS,(9 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 4 p.m.)

Guided tours for groups of at least ten (10) persons must be arranged one week in advance.

Please contact Ms. Betty Dela Cruz at these numbers: 9851126, 938-7981, 0977-6220828 (Globe) or 0908-5054761 (Smart) for details.

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