Memorial mass and tribute

to Kasamang Rudy Lagoc
Iloilo's pioneer human rights lawyer


Oton, Iloilo


July 17,  2012


Tribute to SELDA Members Romy, Zeny and Bong






From the Facebook Album of Pistong Melliza

At Rudy Lagoc's memorial

On February 14, this year, I posted in Twitter that Rudy Lagoc, 77, sailed away without seeing his dream for a democratic, prosperous and sovereign Philippines. Nong Rudy is the founding chair of the Iloilo Chapter of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers of the Philippines (NUPL) that formally became a nationwide association in September 2007.

Nong Rudy's remains were cremated in the US and his ash was brought by Nang Julie in an urn two weeks ago.

Nang Jules is not yet burying the urn, She wishes that when her turn to sail comes, her ash will also be mingled with Nong Rudy's in a single urn for common burial.

Rudy was among the first batch of political prisoners rounded up by the Marcos military in 1972. He spent six months in prison in Camp Delgado, Iloilo City where, he recalled, he was the "oldest" among the political detainees.



Photos courtesy of Judy Taguiwalo and Pistong Melliza as indicated by the filenames,
captions from the album of Pistong Melliza




Tribute to Kasamang Rudy Lagoc



The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) honors Kasamanag Rudy Lagoc for his outstanding commitment and service to the national democratic movement for more than forty years.

We convey our sincere condolences to his beloved wife, Julia Carreon, their four children and other members of their family, other relatives, kasama and numerous friends.


Even before martial law was declared,  Ka Rudy, as a lawyer and Manang Julia, as a professor at the University of Iloilo, were members of Masang Prop—Makabayang Samahan ng mga Propesyonal,  a grouping of lawyers, teachers and other professionals who were part of the national democratic movement before martial law.


Their home in Oton, Iloilo was always a haven for tired and hungry fulltime youthful activists. They  received loving care and support from Ka Rudy and Manang Julia. “It was not only the meals that filled our stomach but the commitment and the love that the Lagoc couple shared with us which strengthened our resolve,” says Judy Taguiwalo, Ph. D in Philippine Studies and Faculty Regent of the University of the Philippines 2009-2010.


Ka Rudy was briefly imprisoned during martial law. Upon his release, he worked indefatigably for workers' rights. He won a celebrated case as the lawyer of a faculty union against the University of Iloilo.


He was the founding Chairperson of the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL) of Panay and was also active in the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA).


He and Manang Julia gave their firm support for the Tumanduk who are fighting for their rights to their ancestral domain. Despite having to use a cane, Ka Rudy together with Manang Julia, traveled a long distance to attend the Tumanduk Assembly last November.


Ka Rudy died last February 7, 2012 in California.  A memorial mass and tribute in his honor was held in Oton, Iloilo on July 17. Manang Julia, his wife of 52 years, and four children together with their spouses and the grandchildren, came home from the United States to attend the parangal for Ka Rudy.


As we honor Ka Rudy, we take this occasion to reaffirm the revolutionary contribution and inspiration bequeathed by Ka Edmundo Legislador, a close relative of Ka Rudy. Ka Edmundo was killed by the fascist military on July 27, 1973 at the age of 22. Together with him, we likewise honor his mother, Nanay Legislador, also of Oton, Iloilo and other revolutionary martyrs, heroes and heroines who served the national democratic movement in Panay.


Long live the revolutionary spirit and legacy of Ka Rudy Lagoc!


Long live the revolutionary martyrs, heroes and heroines of the national democratic movement!


Luis Jalandoni

Member, National Executive Committee

National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel



Email address:

Telephone:  +31 (0)30-2310431            Fax:  +31 (0)84-7589930

Mailing address:  Amsterdamsestraatweg 50, NL-3513 AG Utrecht, Netherlands




A Salute to Manong Rudy Lagoc

and all those who served the people to their very last breath
by Judy Taguiwalo

July 18, 2012

This has been a month of tribute for our dear comrades in the struggle for freedom and democracy.

We bid farewell to Ka Arman and Ka Darwin last June 30 who died in Bondoc Peninsula together with nine other mga anak ng bayan and to Sherwin Calong who died in Zambales.

We shared in the grief over the killing of Willem Geertman,the Dutch lay missionary and advocate of people's rights and the environment who was assasinated in Angeles City.

We honored Jose "Bong" Bersoles, SELDA NCR Chair and Romy Luneta who died of illnesses this July.

We grieved over the sudden death of Maita Gomez .

We condoled with Marevic Parcon and husband Danny Fabella for the death of Zeny, Bing's mother who was part of the women's movement in Mindanao and in Manila for a long time.

Yesterday, July 18, a memorial mass and tribute for Atty. Rudy Lagoc was held in Iloilo City. Manong Rudy, who was a people's lawyer as early as 1971, who was imprisoned during martial law, who became the founding Chair of NUPL -Panay died in California last February 7. His ashes were brought to the country by Manang Julia, his wife of 52 years and herself a long-time people's advocate and his four children.

Sharing with you the memorial written by Manang Julia and published in Iloilo News



ACCENTSBy Julia Carreon-Lagoc

I shed invisible tears, profuse tears without anybody knowing. Teardrops that nobody can see, for nobody at all can feel the emptiness that gnaws into every fiber of my being. Lost Rudy Feb. 7, and two weeks after his passing away, I continue to pine for moments that should have been enriched with more love and caring. I sigh for the togetherness that will never come back. I get to wonder how others can cope and cope bravely. Your kind indulgence, dear reader, for sentimental me.

They say people in the media have great coping mechanism. Really? I am with the media (at least, I have a PRESS card to show for it; journalist is too big a word to fill). But I find it very hard coping, now that it’s my turn.

Words of solace continue to fly from cyberspace and nestle in my computer. Oh, the strength and comfort they provide in these trying moments of my life.

Dr. Judy Taguiwalo, a PhD in Philippine Studies who was UP Faculty Regent 2009-2010, encapsulates in her email messages of sympathy that the Internet brings:

“Manang Julie--a tight embrace to you and a heartfelt condolence on the passing of our beloved Manong Rudy.

“You have written a beautiful eulogy of Manong Rudy's life and your 52 years together--husband and wife (One by one, the petals drop, The News Today, Feb. 17, and Panay News, Feb. 20), yes but comrades in arms in our relevant quest for a just world! The petals dropping will help enrich the soil of our people's struggle and definitely new petals will emerge.

“May I post this on Facebook and can you send me a picture of Manong Rudy? Would like to share this with our young activist friends.

“Turn grief into militant courage! “

Now you see where I got the title of this column. Turn grief into militant courage! Yes, indeed! Judy followed up with another email, so biographical it was a trip down memory lane:

“A Salute to Manong Rudy Lagoc--servant of the people! Manong Rudy and Manang Jules Lagoc of Oton, Iloilo were vital part of my activist life when I went back to Western Visayas after 1971. There I continued organizing among the youth and students and started trade union organizing until martial law was imposed on September 1972. The Lagoc's home in Oton was always a haven for tired and hungry full time organizers without allowance. It was not only the meals that filled our stomach but the commitment and the love that the Lagoc couple shared with us which strengthened our resolve. I recently received a copy of this eulogy written by Manang Jules for her husband of 52 years… To Manong Rudy--who served the people with tenacity and courage--a salute!!! Your death is heavier than Mt. Madyaas!”

From Romy Delprado of SELDA (Samahan ng mga Detenado Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) “The last time I've seen Rudy was that of November of last year, when we had an assessment/meeting with the SELDA Panay in Iloilo City re the 10 million dollars settlement with the Camposes. Atty. Rudy Lagoc was one of the people behind this settlement...He was not only my counselor that time but also a true Kasama and a friend.”
Nuggets of love, sympathy and concern run through the streaming lines, mine to pick up for strength:

“I can still remember when we celebrated Philippine Independence day and while we were singing Bayan ko and Ako ay Pilipino.....I could see his hands fist and from the distance I could see tears in his eyes.”

“He was a good soul and a noble remarkable man. It is no secret that he was well respected and genuinely admired by everyone in our Fil-Am Association.”

“Both of you are an inspiration for all of us here. He will always be in the memories of the movement. Thank you for sharing him with us.”

“You have marched with us through the years, fighting for our rights and freedoms. You wrote that the tie that bound you and Nong Rudy is only one word: activists... yes, and that one word also binds us to you.”

“He has inspired many people because of his principles and lifestyle. Latest photo I have of him was when he and Julie attended the Tumandok Assembly ( equivalent of the Cordillera Day) here in November last year. They travelled a far distance to attend that, despite his using a cane. He won a celebrated case here when he was legal counsel for a faculty union vs. the University of Iloilo many years ago. From our end, we say that Rudy deserves FULL HONORS!”

Thank you, Bayan-Panay, Gabriela, NUPL-Iloilo Legal Assistance Center, Fil-Am Associations of South Carolina and Northern California, UCCP, KARAPATAN, and to the many relatives and friends for the messages — inspiring, moving, generating the courage to replace the invisible tears.

To Manong Rudy, to Maita, to Zeny, to Bong, to Romy, to Willem, to Arman, Darwin, Sherwin and all our bayani, the song "What Makes a Hero" (lyrics by Jose Maria Sison, melody by Danny Fabella) defines you:

It is not the manner of death that makes someone a hero
It is the meaning from, from the struggles against the fall

There is the hero who dies in the battlefield
There is the hero who dies of hunger or disease
There is the hero who dies of some accident
There is the hero who dies of old age

Whatever is the manner of death
There is a common denominator
A hero serves the people to his very last breath

There is the hero who dies in the battlefield
There is the hero who dies of hunger or disease
There is the hero who dies of some accident
There is the hero who dies of old age

Whatever is the manner of death
There is a common denominator
A hero serves the people
A hero serves the people
A hero serves the people to his very last breath



Judy Taguiwalo: Nong Rudy and Julie Lagoc welcomed us and took shelter of us.

Judy, a doctor of philosophy, now teaches at her alma mater, the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She is a former regent representing the faculty of the state university.

She spent the prime of her youth, as college student, in the underground resistance against the Marcos dictatorship in the onset of martial law in 1972.


Retired NLRC arbiter Atty. Ric Octavio,
the last of the contemporaries of Rudy Lagoc at the NLRC.

Atty. Bong San Felix: As counsel for the Kilusang Mayo Uno back in the Marcos years, he learned of the intricacies of pro-labor advocacy from Atty. Lagoc.

The three daughters of Nong Rudy and Nang Julie Lagoc, singing the activist
ditty "Gumising ka, Kabataan", that Judy taught when they were still kids.

Atty. Janne Baterna: he was awakened to the socio-political reality in his student
days at the University of Iloilo. Julie and Rudy were instrumental to that awakening.

Tribute to SELDA Members Romy, Zeny and Bong
  Romeo Luneta  



Ni Prop. Jose Maria Sison
Punong Pampulitikang Konsultant
ng Pambansang Demokratikong Prente ng Pilipinas

Nagpapaabot kami ni Julie ng taos pusong pakikiramay sa pamilya at mga kasama at kaibigan ni Kasamang  Romeo (Romy) Luneta sa kanyang pagpanaw. Bagamat tayo ay nagdadalamhati, kinikilala at ipinagbubunyi  natin ang mga naiambag niya sa demokratikong rebolusyon ng bayan. Makabuluhan at mabunga ang kanyang  buhay.

Si Kasamang Romy ang isa sa mga nagpundar ng Kabataang Makabayan sa Batangas at buong Timog Katagalugan magmula pa 1964. Sa pamamagitan ng KM, tampok ang kanyang papel sa pagpapalaganap ng  linya ng bagong demokratikong rebolusyon at sa paghihimok, pag-oorganisa at pagmobilisa ng kabataan.

Dahil sa kanyang mabisang pagkilos, minanmanan siya at ginipit ng mga ahente ng reaksyonaryong estado. Hinuli at tinortyur siya sa ilalim ng proklamasyon ni Marcos ng batas militar na nagpataw ng pasistang diktadura  sa Pilipinas. Tinugis siya ng kaaway hindi lamang dahil sa kanyang sariling pagkilos kundi dahil sa gustong  alamin sa kanya ang kinaroroonan ng kanyang kapatid na si Jose na may katungkulan noon sa sentral na  pamunuan ng Partido Komunista ng Pilpinas.

Sa kalaunan, pitong kapatid ni Kasamang Romy ay lumahok sa rebolusyon sa iba’t ibang katungkulan. Sa kanyang pananaliksik sa kasaysayan, natuklasan niya ang tradisyon ng mga ninuno ng pamilyang Luneta sa  paghihimagsik, una laban sa mga kolonyalistang Espanyol at sunod sa mga imperyalistang Amerikano.

Hindi natakot si Kasamang Romy sa kaaway sa kabila ng tortyur at pagkabilanggo ng ilang taon sa Kampo Vicente Lim. Kasama siya sa pagbabalak at paghahanda sa pagtakas nina Ka Roger (Gregorio Rosal) at  ilang mga kasama. Hindi siya sumama sa mga tumakas dahil labis na ang bilang nila. Nagpaiwan siya at  humarap sa galit ng kaaway.

Pagkaraan ng ilang taon, pinakawalan siya dahil wala namang ebidensya ng pagsasandata laban sa kanya. Nagpasiya siyang kumilos para ipagtanggol ang mga karapatang tao at ibunyag ang mga kriminal na paglabag  sa mga ito ng rehimeng Marcos at mga alipuris niyang militar. Nakapag-ambag siya sa pangkalahatang  kilusan para ibagsak ang rehimen, laluna sa pagmobilisa sa mamamayan matapos na paslangin si Ninoy  Aquino.

Matapos bumagsak ang rehimeng pasista ni Marcos, ipinagpatuloy niya ang pagkilos sa ilalim ng mga organisasyong karapatang tao tulad ng KAPATID, DESAPARECIDOS at SELDA. Primero kumilos siya sa Kamaynilaan. Pagkatapos inatasan siyang sumama sa rehiyonal na pamunuan ng SELDA sa Timog Katagalugan at naging tagapagsalita nito. Lumaban siya sa patuloy na paglabag sa mga karapatang tao sa ilalim ng rehimen ni Cory Aquino at mga sumunod na rehimen.

Sa mahabang panahon, nagdanas siya ng diabetes. Kahit na sa mga okasyong pinanghihina siya ng sakit,nagsumikap siyang gampanan ang kanyang mga gawain. Sa kalaunan, pinanghina siya ng malubhang diabetis na tumungo sa cardiac arrest.

Mananatiling buhay si Kasamang Romy sa ating ala-ala, puso at diwa. Mahalaga ang kanyang pamana sa  kasalukuyan at mga susunod na henerasyon. Mananatili at lalaki ang kanyang mga ambag sa agos at  pagsulong ng rebolusyong Pilipino.###




Zeny Parcon