15 new Bantayog heroes named


Fifteen more names were added to the list of martial law heroes and martyrs at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.

The names of the new heroes will be engraved on the Bantayog’s Wall of Remembrance which at present contains 268 names.

According to the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, these people suffered and died in their struggle against the Marcos dictatorship.

The heroes include Horacio R. Morales Jr., Edgardo R. Cupino and Ernesto D. Lacbao.

Cupino led his schoolmates in joining protest actions against the abuses of the Marcos government in the early 70s. He is also known for working with students as well as Dumagat communities in the province of Nueva Ecija, raising political awareness about the realities of martial law and the need for organized resistance. He was killed in a military raid in Mount Buntis, Bongabon.

Lacbao fought the regime’s militarization drive in his community and the military abuses in the provinces of Ifugao and Benguet, for which he was arrested, tortured and imprisoned.

Morales abandoned his post in the Cabinet to support the underground opposition to martial law. He was tortured and incarcerated.

Antero G. Santos meanwhile was honored for writing incisive articles in his campus paper in the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna.

Also honored were Vicente L. Beloria, Alberto T. Espinas, Napoleon P. Lorca and Rolando P. Lorca (1950- 1974).

Beloria led protests in Iloilo City and organized a campaign in Antique against the sham 1973 Constitution. He was killed by soldiers although he was unarmed.

Espinas helped expand student organizations as an activist-leader in Manila and in Iloilo, while Lorca defied government threats against student demonstrations and was killed by his military captors.

Seven heroes and martyrs were honored from Mindanao – Evella V. Bontia, Fernando T. Esperon, Nicanor R. Gonzales Jr., Ma. Socorro B. Par, Ester Resabal-Kintanar, Cecilio A. Reyes and Roberto C. Salac.

Bontia was honored for organizing the youth in Mindanao to build resistance against the imposition of martial law. Esperon also organized a youth group that championed people’s rights.

Gonzales was cited for his brave work as a former teacher organizing for the anti-dictatorship resistance and for writing and translating anti-martial law newsletters in Mindanao.

Par led student actions against the looming imposition of martial law; while Kintanar was cited for giving up a promising career in engineering education to organize and edit an underground publication that kept many communities in Mindanao informed about the realities of martial law.

Reyes was honored for raising awareness among youth and students in Metro Manila through cultural performances. He was also arrested and detained after martial was declared.

Salac was cited for his defense of poor farmers and members of Christian communities in Mindanao. He was also known for his persistence in helping build the democratic forces in Mindanao, which showed their strength by launching strikes (welgang bayan) against the Marcos regime, and for supporting peace talks that made him a vulnerable military target that cost him his life.


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