bantayog.foundation

bantayog.foundation

SARMIENTO, Abraham Jr., P.

sarmiento

Kung di tayo kikibo, sino ang kikibo? Kung di tayo kikilos, sino ang kikilos? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa?

This passionate cry, defying the Marcos dictatorship at the height of its reign of terror, was echoed by young people across the land, and soon taken up even by their elders who drew their own inspiration and courage from it: “Who will speak up if we don’t? Who will act if we don’t? If not now, when?”

It was Abraham Sarmiento Jr., the editor of the Philippine Collegian, student paper of the University of the Philippines, who threw down that challenge. They were not mere words for him either, and he paid with his life for his daring leadership of the campus press in 1975-1976, when the martial law regime jailed him for his many critical articles and editorial policies.

At a time when the major media outlets – commercial newspapers and magazines, radio and television stations – were firmly controlled by the Marcos regime, the Collegian upheld its proud tradition of press freedom and independent thinking. Under “Ditto” Sarmiento, the UP student newspaper refused to be timid and safe. It tackled the issue of presidential succession, for example, protested the waves of illegal arrests, and demanded the release of political prisoners. It took a strong stand on campus questions, and Sarmiento and his staff led rallies in support of their positions.

Only the Collegian dared to report on the publication by the Civil Liberties Union of a critical pamphlet, Three Years of Martial Law. It published the article "For Those Who Care," signed by 500 opposition leaders, notably Diosdado Macapagal, Gerardo Roxas and Jovito Salonga. It also published the letter of Macapagal to the Philippine Constitutional Association advocating the convening of an interim national assembly as mandated by the 1973 Constitution, in order to end martial law.

In December 1975 Sarmiento wrote an editorial that offended the then minister of national defense, Juan Ponce Enrile. He was “invited” for interrogation and then sent home. A month later, he was picked up from the house of his father, Abraham F. Sarmiento, who had been vice-president of the 1971 Constitutional Convention (and who later served, in 1987-1991, as associate justice of the Supreme Court).

Ditto Sarmiento was detained for over seven months in Fort Bonifacio and later in Camp Crame, where he was placed in isolation for two months. He had always been in poor health, being asthmatic, and the harsh conditions caused him to grow weaker. He died of a heart attack, at age 27.

The UP College of Business Administration and Accountancy honored Sarmiento with a posthumous bachelor’s degree in 1978, as he was never able to finish his academic program. It was the first time the college did this. In 1986, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines gave him a posthumous Plaridel Award.

PARENTS                             Abraham F. Sarmiento and Irene Pascual

SPOUSE / CHILD                Marsha Regala Santos / 1

EDUCATION                       Elementary / Secondary: Ateneo de Manila

College: University of the Philippines Diliman

ONGPIN, Jaime V.

Ongpin Jaime Velayo

Jaime Ongpin studied at the Ateneo de Manila, graduating with a degree of in business administration in 1958. He took a master’s course at the Harvard Business School.

Jaime Ongpin, or Jimmy, took his first step from being a business executive to joining the opposition to then President Ferdinand Marcos when he wrote a simple letter to the editor for the Asian Wall Street Journal in 1981. The letter was sharply critical of government bailouts and “crony capitalism," a phrase he had coined and made popular as a ringing indictment of the Marcos administration.

Before this, Jimmy studiously avoided politics up to that time when the domestic money market collapsed and the government, using public funds, resorted to bailing out the Marcos cronies.

The action was personally difficult because his older brother Roberto was then Marcos’ trade and industry minister and mainly responsible for carrying out the bailout policies.

Because until then businessmen did not speak against the Marcos regime, Ongpin’s letter created a furor. Friends called him crazy and stupid, even suicidal. Ongpin merely said that "if we kept on looking the other way, things would only get much worse." Later friends started approaching him to say they supported his views but they themselves could not come out publicly. They also warned Jimmy against “going too far.”

From that first letter, Ongpin went on to write more letters, deliver speeches and give interviews. He became an increasingly prominent voice of the opposition. He began to be referred to in the international press as "the leader of the business opposition to Marcos."

In March 1983, Jimmy wrote a paper signaling unequivocally his condemnation of the regime’s policies. In a satiric take‑off on the "Eleven Major Industrial Projects" initiated by his brother the minister, which Jimmy felt was a misguided allocation of government resources, he entitled his paper "The Eleven MIP's (a.k.a. The Eleven Major Infuriating Problems)." Here he questioned the manner in which government lending institutions bailed out a distressed crony corporation called the Construction Development Company of the Philippines (CDCP). He presented the paper before the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, and later before the Harvard Club of the Philippines and Phi Delta Kappa‑Manila RP Chapter. The paper gave a stinging criticism of government policies and ended with a challenge to the private sector to "lift a finger" to help solve the country’s most serious financial problems.”

After the assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983, Jimmy became more open about his commitment to the removal of the Marcos dictatorship. He became an active supporter of Manindigan (Take a Stand!), a cause‑oriented group of businessman and professionals. He opened the facilities of his company, the Benguet Corporation, to the activist organization.

He helped raise funds for Veritas, an independent weekly that took up a crusade against the dictatorship while most of the mainstream media was bowed in passivity and submission.

In December 1984, Corazon Aquino, former Senator Lorenzo Tañada and Jimmy Ongpin created a Convenor Group to unite the forces opposed to Marcos.

When Corazon Aquino launched her bid for the presidency, Ongpin's solid business reputation helped generate funds for the campaign. Friends and business leaders disgusted with the regime donated generously.

Ongpin readily put his life on the line during the 1986 people power revolution. Corazon Aquino later appointed Jimmy her finance minister.

Parents : Luis R. Ongpin and Lourdes M. Velayo Morales

Education : Ateneo de Manila

Harvard Business School

Spouse : Maria Isabel Ongpin

Children : 5

MIJARES, Antonio S.

Mijares Antonio Sibuya

The family of Antonio Mijares lived next door to the municipal jail. In the early days of martial law, Antonio, whom the family called Diore, would hear suspects being beaten and crying out. Diore would slip them ginger ale and pandesal for breakfast.

Diore excelled in drama, oratory and pingpong. He served as altar boy and was a church-goer. His father noted that he liked to read books on politics, science, and philosophy. He liked biographies and battle stories. In college, Diore haunted the libraries, but he was also active in various activities, sometimes cutting classes to attend to them.

Later he moved back to Aklan, joining the staff of the campus paper in Aklan College and was said to have helped revive that paper. He also helped in organizing the Aklan chapter of the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines.

Diore fell under military suspicion. Once he was questioned by the local provincial commander who suspected him of recruiting and soliciting funds for the New People’s Army. The commander also tried to recruit him to spy on his classmates and town mates. Diore refused.

He decided instead to go more deeply into organizing work in the mountains and hills of Aklan and Antique.

Diore died at the age of 22, on a Good Friday, on April 20, 1984, in an ambush. Diore was captured while his two companions (one was Edward dela Fuente) were killed.  Diore was wounded but the leader of the constabulary team later fired on him, riddling him with bullets.

LUCMAN, Haroun Al Rashid

Lucman Haroun AlRashid

Rashid Lucman’s illustrious ancestors include Sharif Kabungsuan and Angintabu, daughter of the chieftain of Malabang, Lanao del Sur, who bore Rashid Lucman’s father, Sharif Maka‑alang (who succeeded as chieftain).

He fought under the US Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) during World War II, organizing the first guerrilla force in Mindanao which fought fierce battles against the Japanese. His war record led to his appointment as deputy governor for Lanao del Sur in 1944.

He worked in 1949 as newspaper correspondent for the Manila Chronicle but returned to politics in 1953. He was elected congressman of Lanao del Sur in 1961 and served until 1969. He also served as regional development officer of the Convention on National Integration at Marawi City from 1959 to 1961. He served as Lanao del Sur congressman from 1961 to 1969.

As deputy governor, Lucman worked for the surrender of loose firearms in his province and helped bring in the Tausug outlaw Kamlon in the 1950s. He helped rescue non‑Muslims and Subanons from what was then a flourishing slave trade in Mindanao.

In 1968, Lucman, then already a congressman, called for the impeachment of President Ferdinand Marcos for the latter’s responsibility in what later came to be known as the Jabidah massacre. It turned out that the Philippine government had secretly trained Muslims to implement a clandestine plan to invade the island of Sabah. The Muslim trainees had rebelled over miserable training conditions in Corregidor island. As a result, 68 Tausug trainees were killed.

Lucman failed to generate the support he expected from Congress, and became convinced that Muslims should rule themselves in Muslim Mindanao. He supported the training of young Muslim men for armed resistance and raised funds abroad, particularly from Muslim countries, for Muslim self-rule. He sent young men to be trained in guerrilla warfare under a special Malaysian force. Among them was Nur Misuari, later to become the guerrilla leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

He chaired the Union of Islamic Forces and Organization from 1968 to 1972 and at the same time was a member of the Military Council. He also chaired the Supreme Revolutionary Council from 1970 to 1972, and the Bangsa Moro Liberation Organization (BMLO) from 1976 to 1984. The BMLO later joined forces with Nur Misuari’s MNLF.

In 1974, Lucman was declared second paramount sultan of Mindanao and Sulu. Here he raised the call for self‑rule for the Bangsa Moro of Mindanao. Lucman left for Saudi Arabia in 1976. In 1984, he was elected vice‑president of the Ninoy Aquino Movement (NAM) in San Francisco, California.

He pursued his campaign for unity among Muslim members of the various opposition political forces, including the underground resistance movement led by the Left and Filipino opposition groups in Europe, the Middle East and the United States. He died in Riyadh in 1984.

 

* Father : Sharif Maka‑alang

* Spouse: Princess Tarhata Alonto‑Lucman

* Education : Associate in Arts, 3 years of law

BELONE II, Alexander

Belone Alexander Abunita

Alexander, called by family as Totoy and by friends as Alex, was born on June 23, 1952 in Naga City, where also he grew up with his one and only sibling, elder sister Elizabeth.

He is remembered as a child for being unselfish and a dreamer. He would give away his pencils to his playmates and taught them to read and write. He dreamed that he would go out into the world to sell blankets in order to help support his family. The family also called him Captain. He preferred reading to playing, being happiest with a book. Thus he was an honor pupil in grade school, but shy with the girls although he joined organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Archery Association, Glee Club and the Knights of the Sanctuary. He was fascinated with constellations.

In grade school he was a bit intimidated with numbers but studying at the Philippine Science High School, he learned to appreciate their clear‑cut, no-­nonsense directness. His father remembered Totoy musing once: "in math, 1+1=2, but in language, you could say 'yes,' 'no,' or'maybe,' which is a lot harder (to understand) than '21"

He left his family home at age 13 to live in a boarding house for PSHS male students in Manila. There his shy and quiet personality underwent subtle change as he lived in a household full of rambunctious boys with different backgrounds. But soon he had his circle of friends, a barkada, whose friendships would be long‑lasting, and whose influence on him, for better or for worse, was permanent.

It was this set of friends that helped bridge for him the transition to the bigger world, the university. Totoy and many of his PSHS friends who enrolled at UP were soon members of the fraternity Tan Rho Xi, as the social and political storm raged in the nation and the university.

Totoy became a member of Kabataang Makabayan, and was soon drawn to participate in the First Quarter Storm of 1970, and the widespread mobilization to help in the floods of October 1970. He found that University was so much more interesting and educating!

However, danger was just around the corner. On December 4, 1970, Totoy was marching at a rally next to another PSHS student, Francis Sontillano, when a security guard of the Feati University dropped a pillbox on the marchers. Sontillano died almost instantly. A few months later, on February 1, 1971, Totoy was sitting next to Pastor Mesina, at a student barricade at the University of the Philippines at the start of a historical period called the Diliman Commune, when a professor took out a gun and fired. The bullet killed Mesina.

Suddenly all this was too much for Totoy's parents. They got Totoy to move back to Naga, where he continued his college education at the University of Nueva Caceres. However, the liberating breath of activism had gotten into the young boy's blood. He continued to organize for KM at his new school, and was soon writing radical literature for the Nueva Caceres school paper. Following is one such untitled poem he wrote:

Can the choicest words

And the harshest sounds

Provide power to a people

Long oppressed under the yoke

Of feudal and imperialist tyranny?

Shall we not cast aside

The broken pen that knows all terms

And the paper pure prepared for lines?

Shall we not transform

Angry words into moving force

Pointed pens into sharpened bolos

Spurting ink into barking bullets?

Come now literary laureates

Turn your scripts and your books

Into mass bases of the revolution

And your pens and typewriters Into automatic rifles of the revolutionaries

That will write the great epic

Of the Filipino race!

Slowly, Totoy's parents began to understand the roots of their son's activism. "Patriotism is in our blood," remembered Totoy's father. "My father was a soldier and an officer, and he went to the hills to join the struggle against the Japanese during World War Il."

When Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law, Totoy's parents realized that the situation was ripe for a decision, and they made it firmly. They borrowed P700 and Totoy went, with his parents' full blessing, to join his friends in the underground where he would stay until his death eight years later.

Overtime, his new name Ka Tandis started to be spoken of in respectful whispers not only among Totoy's friends but throughout the Bicol region, and also in Southern Tagalog where he also stayed for a while. Ka Tandis became a teacher for the resistance, trudging up and down the slopes of the Bicol region to instruct comrades in various topics (philosophy, politics, economics, the resistance program, strategy and tactics, and so on.)

Instructors like Ka Tandis provided the theoretical framework on which activists based their work, which otherwise would have dissolved into hot‑headed actions that would not have been helpful to their honorable goals and intentions.

As an instructor, Ka Tandis was remembered for his patience in explaining principles and in dealing with companions with problems or those with very little experience, and for always seeking to achieve new learnings himself. He was honest about his own weaknesses and mistakes, calm in handling disputes, respectful of women's capabilities, a model of the same principles he had espoused.

He never married, but he once jokingly told a friend he had a sweetheart "who was not aware of it yet."

On October 11, 1980, at around 7 o'clock in the morning, in Barangay Coguit, Balatan, Camarines Sur, Ka Tandis and another comrade were resting in a house when troops came. Ka Tandis' companion managed to escape the encirclement but Ka Tandis gave up his life for his cause. He was 28.

It is said that his death was felt across the region, like Mayon Volcano erupting. But his parents took his death bravely. "A tree dies but a forest lives forever," says his father. "We raised a son who loved his country more than himself. In times of peace you pay revenues in cash, but in times of crisis, you pay in terms of life. He died just once, unlike a coward who dies many times."

And his mother: "in his wake, people from all over came to share the moment with us. Many loved him, and in our hearts we couldn't help but be convinced that our son died for a right cause."

A few months after Alex's death, martial law was lifted in name, and several years later, actually dismantled through people power mobilization. Alex did not see the fruits of his and his comrades' labors. But his family feels that without his sacrifices and those of people like him, freedom as Filipinos now enjoy, would not have come as soon.

* Parents : Alejandro Belone and Victoria Abonita

* Education :   Elementary ‑ Naga Parochial School, Naga City, 3rd honorable mention, 1965

High School ‑ Philippine Science High School, Quezon City, 1970

College ‑ University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City

University of Nueva Caceres, Naga City

CUPINO-ARMEA, Julieta

Cupino-Armea Juliet

The young Julieta Cupino lived across the river from a working class community in Pasig City. This early exposure to poverty, plus her elder brother Edgar’s activism, made Julieta aware of social realities in her country.

When she was 17, she started organizing the Samahan ng Kababaihan sa Rizal, recruiting mostly women laborers. Her choice of a career in the nursing profession also showed this caring spirit.

Despite the imposition of martial law in 1972, Juliet continued to organize women workers in Solid Mills and the Philippine American Embroidery, then employing some ten thousand workers, and one of the biggest bra-and-underwear factories in the country.

Evading very restrictive martial law decrees, Juliet helped women workers organize against low wages, overwork, and the lack of benefits, including maternity leave and day care support. The big firms enjoyed the regime’s support and were resorting to questionable practices, such as preferring single women and calling new hires as trainees to force them to accept trainee wages, and were imposing repressive rules, such as putting unreasonable limits on water breaks and toilet breaks.

Juliet enlightened the women workers about their rights, taught them negotiating techniques and fund-raising methods, and also get them into contact with nuns and priests who wanted to assist them in their labor struggle.

During the 1978 campaign for Batasan representatives, Juliet helped organize worker electoral committees to support the opposition party, LABAN, under which then incarcerated Senator Benigno Aquino Jr was running as candidate. The Samahan ng Kababaihan ng Rizal supported the LABAN candidates vigorously. Since many women workes were also first-time voters, Juliet also helped organized voters’ education seminars. Juliet joined the massive noise barrage when LABAN and Ninoy were cheated of victory, calling on her Pasig neighbors to join also.

Juliet’s husband Oscar, who had also been involved in trade union organizing, was arrested in 1979. Juliet joined KAPATID, an organization families of political prisoners, and helped in their information campaigns.

When Oscar was released from prison, the couple made the painful decision to move out of Metro Manila and continue their union work in Mindanao. They had to leave their two children behind. In Mindanao, Juliet learned the local language, and taught herself to walk barefoot and learn rural skills like pounding palay.

Juliet’s task was to head an underground district organization of anti-dictatorship forces in Misamis Oriental. By 1982, the military had intensified its counter-insurgency campaign in the province. It built up fanatic groups and recruited their members as paramilitary force. Notable among them was the Tadtad cult.

Juliet was head of a paramedic group when Tadtads attacked in the early dawn of 27 October 1983. When they came, Juliet and an aide exchanged fire to cover the retreat of the rest. All the members of her team escaped, but her companion was killed and Juliet was captured alive. For four hours, she was tortured, raped, beaten with wood all over her body, until she died.

It was the height of military rule in Mindanao and fear of government reprisal was intense. The mayor did not want Juliet buried in the cemetery. But human rights advocates insisted. The Catholic bishop came to lead the rites, holding the burial ceremonies “sa gilid ng sementeryo,” outside the cemetery walls.

* Parents : Isaias Cupino and Elena Ranollo

* Spouse : Oscar Armea

* Children : 2 (Carlos and Ma. Lorena)

ROCES, Joaquin P.

roces

Joaquin P. Roces was known to most “street parliamentarians” as Chino Roces, “Tatang,”a casually dressed, kindly gentleman with white hair and mustache.

He may not have looked it, but he was one of the most influential personalities in the country before martial law was declared by President Marcos, being the owner and publisher of the Philippines’ most widely-circulated and respected publications at the time. These included the Manila Times, Daily Mirror, Taliba, and the Weekly Women’s Magazine. He also owned a radio station and a television station.

Although he was born into wealth and social prominence, Roces disdained the privileges and comforts of power. He had a soft spot for the underprivileged, and used his media organization to organize successful efforts to mobilize citizen assistance for those in need. During the killer floods that devastated Central Luzon in June and August 1972, he had food supplies airdropped to the survivors. When a big earthquake totally destroyed the Ruby Tower building in Manila, Roces was among the first to arrive at the scene to offer help. Earlier, during the 1965 eruption of Taal Volcano, he spearheaded a relief drive for the stricken victims.

When Marcos declared martial law in 1972, Roces was among the first he ordered arrested and detained. He would be jailed two more times after that, but he refused to give up. Despite his advanced age and failing health, he was in the forefront of many protest rallies, facing water cannons, truncheons and tear gas bombs.

During the snap presidential elections in 1986, the widow of assassinated Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. was reluctant to run against the dictator. Roces took it upon himself to convince Cory Aquino to run for president, by pledging to collect one million signatures for her candidacy.

After a civilian-military revolt in 1986 finally deposed Marcos and installed a new democratic government, Roces went back to publishing, but the old Manila Times was gone and he himself was not in good health any more. What’s more, the new government had shortcomings that to him were glaringly obvious.

When President Corazon Aquino conferred on him the medal of the Philippine Legion of Honor in 1988, Chino Roces decided it would be better to be frank with her and offer his sincere appraisal of what needed to be corrected in government. It was an act of good citizenship.

Roces died of cancer in September of that year. He was 75.

PARENTS                             Alejandro Roces and Antonia Pardo

SPOUSE / CHILDREN       Pacita Carvajal / 3

EDUCATION                       Secondary: Ateneo de Manila

Post-secondary: England, U.K.

BROCKA, Catalino O.

Brocka Catalino final

Catalino (or the more popular “Lino”) Brocka, is one of the greatest film and stage directors the country has produced.

Lino was born poor and failed to complete a degree but he built himself up to become an insightful director, creating Filipino films and plays that were acclaimed in local and international circles for both their craft and social content. Despite the success and stature he achieved, Lino kept sight of his humble beginnings. He fought for farmers and agrarian reform and supported street strikers. He denounced censorship and resisted the Marcos dictatorship, suffering arrest for his views.

Lino’s father Regino was an itinerant carpenter/boat-builder/salesman from Sorsogon, and his mother, a barrio lass. Regino was, however, a well-rounded man. He taught Lino not only how to read and handle numbers. He also taught him the art of song, dance and poetry, and exposed him to the local politics in his hometown.

Regino was killed in what looked like a political vendetta. Faced with rearing two young sons alone, his widow Pilar left Sorsogon and went back to her hometown in San Jose, Nueva Ecija. She left Lino in the care of her sister. Lino served as his aunt’s houseboy, suffering the aunt’s insult and abuse for years. When he could no longer take it, Lino rejoined his mother and brother in his grandmother’s house.

The young boy showed an early interest in movies, watching Hollywood classics over and over again in the decrepit movie hall in small-town San Jose. He excelled in academics, was brilliant at debate, oration, and other performing activities. He read poetry in the evenings, standing on the dining table before an admiring family. He was once awarded the province’s best student orator and later organized a community theater group. Lino read voraciously. He graduated with six medals and won a scholarship to the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

Lino enrolled in English Literature but he lost his scholarship at the end of his freshman year. He resorted to doing odd jobs to support himself. He worked as a clerk at a music shop, and did publicity work. Once he worked as an assistant stage director. Lino applied to join the UP Dramatics Club and was rejected at first because of his thick accent and lack of height. Undeterred, Lino simply went to see more Hollywood movies and practiced speaking like an American. When he applied again, the Club took him in as a stagehand.

Lino left the university when he went to do missionary work for the Mormons in Hawaii. There, he staged plays and shows for tourists to raise mission funds. After completing this commitment, Lino enrolled for one semester in the Mormon Church College of Hawaii, working as a laborer to pay his way. Then the foot-loose Lino moved to the US mainland, arriving in San Francisco with barely $50 in his pocket. There, Lino worked as a busboy in a restaurant and as a hospital orderly, until in 1968, he gave way to homesickness and returned to Manila.

In Manila, Lino joined the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), organized just the year before. He ran errands, wrote scripts, and led theater exercises, until eventually he became director of PETA’s drama show for television. He had another break in 1970 when he was asked to direct “Wanted: Perfect Mother,” his first film. The film was an artistic and commercial success, and won the Best Screenplay award at the Metro Manila Festival. That same year, Lino directed “Santiago,” which won for him a Best Director citation from the Citizen’s Council for Mass Media, and “Tubog sa Ginto,” which likewise won an award. He continued to do commercial films and direct on the stage for PETA. He assumed PETA leadership in 1974.

With friends, Lino put up the movie company CINEMANILA, through which he produced and directed the classic “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang.” “Tinimbang” won for him another Best Director award, this time from FAMAS. CINEMANILA completed three more films before it folded up. Broke and deep in debt, Lino nevertheless refused offers from the Marcos government to do martial-law kind of films.

Lino’s went on to direct more social-realist films, including “Maynila Sa Kuko ng Liwanag,” “Jaguar,” “Insiang,” “Bona” and “Angela Markado,” all of fine quality. As he became more confident with his art, he became more daring with his politics. In 1983, he formed the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) which took the stand that artists must be citizens first and must take a stand at issues confronting the country (then under the tight grip of the Marcos dictatorship). Lino took to the streets, denouncing censorship and repression, marking him a critic of the Marcos administration.

Following the Aquino assassination, Lino directed the movie “Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim,” and showed it at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984. The film was hailed as the Best Film of the Year by the British Film Institute for its realistic portrayal of Philippine society at that time. The Marcos government tried to stop the film’s screening inside the country but the Philippine Supreme Court, in a rare act of independence, ruled in Lino’s favor. The Marcos government finally allowed a cut version of the film shown, and restricting it to adult viewership.

In 1985, Lino joined a nationwide strike organized by public transportation drivers, where he was arrested with his friend and fellow director Behn Cervantes. Lino and Behn were jailed 16 days. This short prison experience stiffened Lino’s political resolve. After his release, Lino joined the anti-Marcos Coalition for the Restoration of Democracy (CORD), and was made a member of its national council.

That year, he was chosen as recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Awards, for “making cinema a vital social commentary, awakening public consciousness to disturbing realities of life among the Filipino poor.”

Lino stayed in the thick of the protests that steadily grew stronger and culminated in the end of Marcos’ rule in 1986. He was then appointed a member of the Constitutional Commission tasked to draft the post-dictatorship constitution. Lino is remembered as one of several commission members who walked out in protest of what they saw was a weakening of the constitution’s democratic and patriotic contents. Lino also campaigned forcefully against the continuation of US bases in the Philippines.

His subsequent films were “Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak,” which portrayed the abuse of power by self-serving politicians, and “Ora Pro Nobis,” which condemned the abuses by military and paramilitary groups engaged in anti-insurgency. “Ora Pro Nobis” was screened at Cannes Film Festival, where as expected, it drew rave reviews again and became the subject of debates on censorship and artistic freedom.

Lino died in a vehicular accident in Quezon City on May 21, 1991, leaving behind a Filipino nation bereft of his genius and heroism.

Parents                    Pilar Ortiz and Regino Brocka

Sibling                     Danilo Brocka

Education

Elementary             San Jose Elementary School, Nueva Ecija

High School             Nueva Ecija North High School, Nueva Ecija

College                    A.B. English Literature, University of the Philippines - Diliman

Recognition/Citations

  • Lifetime Achievement Awardee, Film Academy of the Philippines (posthumous), 1992

  • Awardee, Lamberto Avellana Memorial Award, 1990

  • Awardee, Hall of Fame, FAMAS, 1990

  • Awardee, Gawad CCP para sa Sining, 1989

  • Awardee, Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Communication Arts, 1985

  • Recipient of various Cannes, British and Toronto Film Festivals citations for best film director

CORTEZ, Delia

CORTEZ

The Cortez family was better off than most of the folks in the community for the father of Delia Cortez was a farmer and her mother a fish stall owner‑vendor in the Olongapo public market.

Delia was a consistent honor student. She was class officer of various student organizations. She was an officer in the school army training class. Delia dreamied of being a doctor.

Delia’s two brothers became activists and greatly influence the young Delia in outlook and direction in life. In her third year high school, she joined the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) and led her schoolmates and friends in rallies against tuition fee increases, oil price increases and brutalities being instituted by the Marcos regime.

She also led Samal women and youth in rallies against factory pollution in San Juan.

After high school, she refused to move up to college and insisted she would stay and pursue her learning among the masses.

When martial law was imposed, Delia simply went on holding secret meetings and discussion groups with women especially mothers on Saturdays and formed Grupong Pang‑organisa ng Kababaihan (GPK) in Samal. She also took up feminist views, discussing with women the roots of their second-class status in society. She urged them to defend basic rights within the family as well as in society.

In December 1974, soldiers were being poured into Bataan, with Delia and six others as targets of an intensive hunt. Delia and his comrades hid in forests, cared for by villagers. Delia joined an armed propaganda unit, and with her petite stature, pleasant voice, demure manners and good looks became a local attraction. At first people pitied her, then conceded her determination, and later they admired her sincerity and perseverance. On cold nights she used palay sacks for blanket. Her bare feet punctured with thorns. She learned to eat sweet potatoes with "bagoong" (fermented fish). She bore her backpack filled with reading and writing materials willingly. A big garbage bag served as her roof at night.

In 1975, Delia learned acupucture and began to practice acupuncture healing in San Luis, Pampanga. Her dream of being a doctor was closer to fulfillment. She learned the local language and became a counselor especially of women facing family and marital problems. Pampaguenos found her very sympathetic as well as articulate.

Delia returned to Samal in 1976 and continued organizing villagers. She met her death early in 1977. She and her team had been resting when gunfire broke the silence of the surroundings. Delia was was hit at the back with a bullet passing through her chest. She was 19 years old.

Parents : Jose Cortez Sr. and Lucila dela Rosa

Education : Elementary - Samal North Elementary School

High school - Jose Rizal Institute, Orani, Bataan

College – University of the Philippines

QUIMPO, Ishmael Jr.

quimpo

Friends of Ishmael Quimpo Jr. remember him as the talented college dropout who chose to work for the poor and devote his life to the cause of the downtrodden.

Jun Quimpo was exposed early to the student demonstrations that characterized the turbulent days of the early 1970s. His family lived inside Manila's university belt and he himself went to school at San Beda, a stone’s throw away from the seat of the presidency, Malacan͂ang Palace. Only 13 when the First Quarter Storm erupted, he was caught in the spirit of his time. He wanted to participate, and started by getting involved in community organizing. His first experience of an urban poor community was at Constitution Hill in Quezon City (then a squatters’ relocation area, now the site of the Batasang Pambansa).

When martial law was imposed and student councils were banned, students thought of other means to assert their right to self-organization. At the University of the Philippines, they put up a Consultative Committee on Student Affairs, and Quimpo, then a freshman, joined its youth committee. Yet community work seemed to be more attractive to him.

Tatalon was another huge slum community in Quezon City and Quimpo became a member of the Alyansa ng Maralita sa Tatalon. With a small allowance from the Share and Care Apostolate for Poor Settlers, he went about his organizing work, discussing politics with the local residents, prodding them to turn away from the hopelessness and idleness of their daily lives, at least cut down on their beer-drinking sprees, and to take responsibility for their future.

Often it was through song that he expressed his views and dreams. With a guitar, he would sing the hours away, inspiring people and making them feel strong.

After being arrested and detained for 10 days in 1976, Quimpo decided to give up college and join the anti-martial law underground. For the next five years, he lived in the rural areas of Luzon where he organized farmers as a cadre of the New People’s Army.

In December 1981, in the village of Kalisitan in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Quimpo was killed treacherously – shot from the back several times – by someone he had trusted, a member of his unit. He was unaware that this person was already working with the military. (Hailed as a “hero” by the latter, the killer was said to have committed suicide sometime later.)

Jun Quimpo was then 24 years old. His family put together a collection of his songs titled "Ang Awit ni Jun," in his honor and memory.

PARENTS                             Ishmael Quimpo and Esperanza Ferrer

SPOUSE                                Maria Cristina (Tina) Pargas

EDUCATION                       Elementary: San Beda College, Manila

Secondary: San Beda College, Manila

College: University of the Philippines Diliman

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