The passing of the country’s foremost nationalist economist, Alejandro Lichauco, leaves a void that would be difficult to fill, said journalist Raymund Villanueva on Saturday.
“There are few Filipinos like Professor Lichauco, who thought of the country, of the Filipinos first,” Villanueva told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
“Mister Lichauco stood by what he wrote even when he was largely ignored by different administrations,” he added.
Lichauco was an author of several books and a former economics professor at the University of the Philippines.
Villanueva said he earlier spoke to Lichauco’s nephew, Lorenzo, who said his uncle died at 3:17am last Friday after suffering from multiple organ failure resulting from complications from pneumonia.
Lichauco, 87, had been ill for some time and had been in and out of St. Luke’s Hospital since March.
He is survived by his wife, Mita.
The wake is at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine in New Manila, Quezon City. Cremation is set on Monday after a requiem mass.
IBON Foundation, in a statement, offered its condolences and paid tribute to one of its former board members.
“IBON Foundation is grateful for all of Mr. Lichauco’s contributions to the continuing struggle for Philippine sovereignty and national independence,” the organization said.
The organization described Lichauco as a “staunch anti-imperialist and progressive thinker, not just during the heady anti-colonialism of the 1950s and 1960s but throughout the so-called era of globalization since the 1980s until today.”
Lichauco, the group added, worked with Claro M. Recto in the Nationalist Citizens’ Party in the 1950s and by the 1960s he helped form the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism that included Jose Ma. Sison, Lorenzo M. Tañada, Jose Lansang, Renato Constantino and Francisco Nemenzo, Jr.
Lichauco represented the first district of Rizal in the 1971 Constitutional Convention and was arrested as he left the convention floor. He was among 12 delegates who refused to sign the 1971 Constitution.
The founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison also paid tribute to Lichauco.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Sison described Lichauco as someone who “manifested and proved by word and deed his conviction, wisdom and competence as a patriotic and progressive Filipino, ever concerned with the rights and welfare of the Filipino people.”
“The works of Alejandro Lichauco shed light on the problems that we face and the road that we must traverse in order to achieve full national independence, democracy, economic development, social justice, people’s solidarity and peace,” Sison said.