Lakas ng Bayan candidates

ROSES & THORNS - Alejandro R. Roces -
Last Monday, the nation observed the 23rd anniversary of the assassination of Ninoy Aquino. There was absolutely no mention of the then-heroes who ran with him in the 1978 Laban elections. The following were his co-candidates in Lakas ng Bayan in that election. The historically unprecedented noise barrage was an attestation they unanimously won that election, but they all lost in the counting. In alphabetical order, these are:

Ninoy Aquino, then Senator of the Republic. Arrested and detained in Fort Bonifacio, he was the People’s Coalition rallying point;

Jerry Barican, then spearpoint of the nationalist youth movement in the late ’60s through early ’70s;

Alexander Boncayao, a labor leader who wanted to restore what Martial Law took away, the workers’ right to strike;

Feli Cabigao, famed as Manila’s graftbusting vice-mayor and councilor;

Juan T. David, a nationalist who vowed to dismantle Martial Law;

Jimmy Ferrer, removed as chairman of COMELEC when martial law was imposed;

Neptali Gonzales, was Ninoy’s choice for pointman in the LP’s Senate lineup if the 1973 elections pushed through; Ninoy’s first recruit in Laban;

Teofisto Guingona, a Con-Con delegate, a lawyer and former Phil. Chamber of Commerce president who envisioned a clean government and consumer protection;

Trining Herrera, a social worker, voice of Metro Manila’s two million slum-dwellers;

Primo de Leon, a World War II veteran, and a former secretary of Manila’s two great performing mayors, Arsenio H. Lacson and Antonio Villegas;

Cesar (Chito) Lucero Jr., Manila’s No. 1 fiscalizer before and since martial law, voted Manila’s "Outstanding Councilor" repeatedly;

Ernie Maceda, a Marcos executive who wanted to expose graft and corruption in the New Society as a way of atoning for his contribution to setting up one of the most repressive and corrupt dictatorships in the Third World;

Antonio Martinez, a physician who was voted No. 1 councilor by labor and media;

Monching Mitra, a former Senator and Congressman, one of Ninoy’s closest friends who was also his cellmate in Fort Bonifacio when martial law was imposed;

Charito Planas, a lawyer, civic leader and philanthropist, called "Joan of Arc", fearless nemesis of the martial rule, relentless defender of the poor and oppressed;

Nene Pimentel, a Con-Con delegate, law dean, civil libertarian political detainee, who co-authored the resolution banning presidents and their families from perpetuating themselves in power;

Nap Rama, a political writer of the Philippine Free Press, and a vice-president of the Constitutional Convention;

Soc Rodrigo, a former Senator, radio-TV commentator, Taliba columnist, a law professor and Ninoy’s lawyer since in the IBP;

Ernesto Rondon, a former Con-Con delegate, radio commentator, champion of consumer rights, defender of human rights, arch critic of martial law;

Noli Santos, a labor lawyer and UP and UE lecturer who fought for the creation of a People’s Watchdog Against Corruption in Government;

Yours truly, Anding Roces, was also one of the above Lakas ng Bayan candidates who "forged into LABAN, the people’s coalition, by a common persuasion: to speak the people’s truth, to demand the people’s freedom!" as written in the 1978 Laban campaign poster.












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