The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan ( New Patriotic Alliance ) mourns the passing of Comrade Manny Loste, Chairperson of Makabayan-Cordillera Chapter and National Vice-Chairperson of Bayan Muna partylist. Bayan condoles with wife, Maureen, and his children ( Bayani, Digbay, and Montaniel ).We pay tribute to a life lived in the service of the people and their struggle for national and social liberation.
Manny’s political history is similar to the revolutionary path taken by patriotic officers of the reactionary Armed Forces of the Philippines – a list that includes, Lt. Crispin Tagamolila who became a martyr of the New People’s Army; Navy Capt. Danilo Vizmanos who became President of Bayan and Chairperson of Selda, Col.Dante Simbulan who was detained by the Marcos dictatorship, and Brig. Gen. Raymundo Jarque who defected to the revolutionary movement.
Manny took up law in the University of Sto. Tomas, and in 1968, had himself commissioned with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He later on taught Philippine Social Studies in the Philippine Military Academy.
But the late 1960s and towards the 1970s, Philippine society was awoken by the activism of students and community youth during the First Quarter Storm Movement. The message of the national democratic struggle spread throughout the country.
Manny was not immune to demonstrations of dissent by many sectors of society. He once joined a rally at a congressional hearing regarding the Philcag, the Philippine military contingent that re-enforced US troops that tried to crush the Vietnamese people’s war for national liberation. He joined the action as a curious observer.
In 1970, Manny was already a 2nd Lieutenant and was teaching at the Department of Social Science in Philippine Military Academy when he was invited to become a part of the revolutionary movement that was being organized within the AFP.
Manny was implicated by the Marcos government in the daring raid of the PMA armory, although the AFP knew he was innocent. Manny was transferred to the Second Brigade of the Philippine Army in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal.
In May, 1971, when his commission as a military officer, Manny applied as a teacher at the then Philippine College of Commerce, now called Polytechnic University of the Philippines. The school was considered a hotbed of student activism. As a professor,Manny and his colleagues were not only active with the First Quarter Storm movement and in organizing teachers and academics; they also joined the massive relief operations after the great flood that hit the entire Central Luzon.
Manny was arrested twice during Martial law, first in January 1973 and the second, in March 1978. During his first arrest, he was detained for almost four years in several military camps – Camp Crame, Camp Aguinaldo, Fort Bonifacio, and back to Camp Crame – before he was released in June 1976.
He was rearrested in 1978 and was brought to the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center. However, there were no charges filed against him even after he was released from prison. Like many detainees of the dictatorship, he suffered mental and physical torture.
Upon his release, Manny applied as a teacher at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila. Later on, he and his entire family would relocate from Las Pinas in Metro Manila to Baguio where they have resided in since then.
Manny would be a human rights advocate, having been appointed Regional Coordinator of the Cordillera Human Rights group during the brutal regime of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Oplan Bantay Laya was also wrecking havoc in the Cordillera region as many activists were killed, arrested or abducted by the regime.
In 2006, Manny was the subject of surveillance by suspected state forces. His name was included in the military’s Order of Battle, along with many prominent leaders of the mass movement in the region. Manny fought on under these difficult conditions. In 2007, Manny was elected National Vice-Chairperson of the progressive partylist group Bayan Muna.
Manny’s new role enabled him to reach out to a wider circle of local community groups, political parties and institutions, engage them in the electoral struggle and bring them closer to the mass movement.
In 2009, Manny would be chosen as Chairperson of Makabayan-Cordillera, which would represent the different progressive partylist groups in the region.
Manny was a patriotic officer, dedicated teacher, human rights defender and a fighter for national and social liberation. His life and work serve as an inspiration to many, especially the youth. We are grateful for his contributions in advancing the mass movement and the parliamentary struggle. We join the comrades and friends in the Cordillera in mourning his passing, as we remain hopeful that many more would trek the path he has courageously taken.
Mabuhay ang alaala ni Kasamang Manny Loste!