Remembering Fr. Rudy

Letter From Prison
by Ramon M. Patriarca
Political Prisoner, Danao City Jail

The murder of Fr. Jovencio Rabusa last Tuesday reminded me of a far worse atrocity against a man of the cloth 24 years ago this week.

I’m referring to the enforced disappearance of beloved Redemptorist pastor Fr. RUDY ROMANO, CSsR, who was abducted by the Military Intelligence Group at Tisa, Labangon, Cebu City on July 11, 1985.

I was at the seminary then when the news of his abduction trickled down the grapevine and into the headlines. It was followed by more debilitating news that Levi Ybanez, organizer of League of Filipino Students, was similarly kidnapped that same day at Sanciangko Street.

At the time of his abduction, Fr. Rudy was the most prominent leader of the nationalist anti-Marcos protest movement in Cebu. He was vice-president for the Visayas of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) then headed by the “Grand Old Man” of the Philippine politics, nationalist Lorenzo “Ka Tanny” Tanada. He was the executive secretary of the human rights center Visayas Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace, chairperson of the Coalition Against People’s Persecution (CAPP), and convenor of the Cebu Oust Marcos Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism and Democracy. He was a pillar of the local opposition, along with such stalwarts as Inday Nita Cortes-Daluz, Clavel Asas-Martinez, Sonny Osmena, Tony Cuenco, Juling Ouano, and Valentin Legaspi.

But most of all, I remember Fr. Rudy as a true Christian-the embodiment of self-sacrifice over personal comfort and gain. He stirred a hornet’s nest when he championed the rights of farmers battling marijuana planters in the Cebu City-Balamban boundary. He attracted more threats when he took the cudgels for the oppressed unionists at Atlas Mining and Visayan Glass Factory.

It was therefore not surprising that it was the poorest of the poor who immediately rushed to the streets to demand freedom and justice for Fr. Rudy. They swelled the ranks of the almost daily protests in Cebu. They heightened the disgust of Cebuanos over Marcos tyranny and hastened its downfall.

For this, we should remember Fr. RUDY. In a time when the authoritarianism cast its long shadow upon us, it is important to learn from the sacrifices of our heroes and martyrs.  Let their struggle continue to inspire us to be ever steadfast in liberating ourselves from the inhuman state of affairs that we are smacked in.

Advertisements

7 responses

  1. We do really miss my uncle Fr. Rudy Romano. I was only 6 years old when he was abducted and he just came from our house in manila before he went to cebu. Having no thoughts that it was the last time that I could be with him. He’s my good playmate that time when Im with him. I could say that i’m his favorite niece among them. I won’t forget the happy moments that I spent with him.

    • KARAPATAN – Central Visayas invites you to attend the 25th commemoration on the abduction of Fr. Rudy Romano on July 11, 2010 (10:00 am) at his marker along Katipunan St., Labangon, Cebu City.

      Please offer candles, flowers and prayers for truth and justice.

    • Please offer candles, flowers and prayers for truth and justice.

      KARAPATAN – Central Visayas invites you to attend the 25th commemoration on the abduction of Fr. Rudy Romano on July 11, 2010 (10:00 am) at his marker along Katipunan St., Labangon, Cebu City.

  2. His an excellent Uncle and a good mentor. I miss him, i wish he was alive today so that he could see us how we grow up.

  3. KARAPATAN – Central Visayas invites you to attend the 25th commemoration on the abduction of Fr. Rudy Romano on July 11, 2010 (10:00 am) at his marker along Katipunan St., Labangon, Cebu City. Offering of candles, flowers and prayers for truth and justice shall highlight the activity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s