Burning Passion

by Ronel M. Sapungan

Passion never dies; it either just hibernates or lies dormant for some time.

True indeed, for a couple of years, my desire to write academic, inspirational, and principle-laden reflective essays for books and the newspapers had taken its decisive break.

You may call it, a writer’s hibernation. Well, I would like it to be labelled, a writer’s latency.

I never thought that writing would totally rest and later expire like a dying amber. I was oblivious that I had not noticed the torch of fire was almost exhausted. It was like a flame of burning bush unnoticeably turned into a spit of fire in a thick dark night. 

After a short self-reflection and contemplation, the Holy Ghost who blessed me and morphed me into a good and effective communicator, had awakened the dormant writer in me. The flame of fire had been breathed that warmed the focolare in my heart until it became a conflagration, red-hot, sweltering, scorching…an unexplainable Chernobyl-like explosion,,,.its power is incredible…its impact is unbelievable.   

As I sat down and conceptualized a topic for this column, I could feel the spark that made me realize how valuable my passion to writing is. The moment my fingers hit a few letters on my laptop keyboard, I sensed how profound writing that rooted into my heart and soul is. After each beautiful phrases that flowed down from my head to the keyboard, I had recalled the wonderful fruits of my love for writing and how it has affected my whole life and the avid readers of my crafts.

The articles that I write for the newspaper column and the stories and reflections that I publish in my books have made me appreciate my passion and love for writing.

God’s special gift. Writing is a wonderful gift. It is as beautiful and vital as the air I breathe and the borrowed life I live. It is a wonderful gift that God has given me. I cannot imagine how truly blessed I am for being one of a few chosen people with a knack for writing. The pieces of literature that I wrote such as poems, song lyrics, prayers, speeches, forewords, news articles, newspaper column, researches, and books are all offshoots of this special gift called writing.  The published and unpublished works have already inspired so many people. These all have made my entire family and good friends happy and proud. All are brilliant manifestations of God’s power and generosity which I truly appreciate.   

A gesture of generosity. I strongly believe in the power of generosity. I fully understand that writing is an incredible manifestation God’s kindness to human beings. It is so powerful that I can put words together, combine fragments and phrases, and organize sentences and paragraphs to convey the message with sense and purpose. I am still amazed until now that I can write reflective essays and column articles for the newspaper and magazine, researches for the journals, and stories and reflections for books to motivate and stir people to do something good for humanity.

A legacy to humanity. I was not a born writer, I am made. The urge to write started when I was in college. I was fortunate to land a position as a literary editor of the collegiate campus paper. The burning desire to put the thoughts and emotions in print had been intensified when I became a high school paper adviser. It was fortified by the awards and the elite experiences in the national press conferences here and abroad. The passion for writing continued until I became an adviser of an international university publication in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I have written seven books and modules for university-wide use. My textbook on foreign language has already been sold in the National Book Store nationwide and used by many senior high schools, colleges, and universities in the country and abroad. My self-help and inspirational books have already earned good reputations in the Book Writers Community. My recognition and certification as a bona fide writer by the National Library recently became a remarkable stamp of being a writer and a book author. I am now the editor in chief of Conocimiento, a research journal of the College of Accountancy, Business, Economics and International Hospitality Management of Batangas State University-JPLPC Malvar campus. All of these accomplishments and wealthy experiences as a writer along with my recent research publications in peer-reviewed and Scopus-indexed journals are my legacy to my family, to the academe, and to humanity.

Inspired by these thoughts, I would like to consider this first online article as my humble gift to you my precious readers.

The plethora of wealthy thoughts and oodles of inspiration that have been poured instinctively unto me every waking hour is a culmination of my dream and aspiration for you.

It’s a good comeback though. I want to re-state and relive my goals as a writer: To share the love and passion for writing (specially for budding writers), to bring inspiration and motivation to the people of various ages with different beliefs, and promote my advocacy of Giving Back, a worth-emulating culture for all. 

To my fellow writers and everybody whose talent is at dormant state, wake up, rise up from solitude and desperation, lit your torch, let its flame burst and fiery, and keep the warmth of passion transcends to inspire, motivate, and love.

Let this God’s wonderful gift and its fruits become superb manifestations of our passion, a gesture of generosity, and a legacy to humanity.    

Believe in the power of love and passion. Despite uncontrollable circumstances, the desire to pen down succinct pieces of literature and love for your special talent should remain burning, through time and distance, the love and desire for it never ends.

Life-giving Biodiversity

by Rolando A. Inciong

            Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth – from the smallest organisms to the largest mammals; the different species of plants, trees, fishes; and the places where they live which we call ecosystems.

            The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that fish provide 20 percent of animal protein to about three billion people. “Over 80 percent of the human diet is provided by plants. As many as 80 percent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.”

            Aside from food, we continue to depend on nature, especially for our basic needs such as water, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter, energy, construction materials, and defense against climate change and pollution.

            Unfortunately, Earth is losing its biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. The Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity said that the loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66 percent of the marine environment have been significantly altered by irresponsible human activities. One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

            It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses — diseases transmitted from animals to humans. If we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

            Given the importance of public education and awareness about the dangers of biodiversity loss, the UN is encouraging governments to promote understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

            We need to learn about the importance of healthy species and their ecosystems and how we can protect and conserve them. While irresponsible human activities contribute to the problem of biodiversity loss, We, humans, are also the solution. Let us all be responsible and take care of our mother nature and its life-giving biodiversity.

The Levistes of Batangas 103 years in Public Service

by Derrick Manas

The 4th and 5th Generation of the Levistes in public service – Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste and his son, Vice Mayor Ronin Leviste of Lian,Batangas.

It all started in 1919, around 103 years ago when Don Gregorio Leviste became the first Mayor of Malvar, Batangas followed by Don Julio Leviste who was elected Mayor in 1926.

Don Julio Leviste’s son, Feliciano “Sanoy” Leviste was elected Governor in 1947 and stepped down in 1971, undefeated in 6 elections, the longest in Batangas history for 24 years.

The son of Governor Sanoy Leviste became Congressman in 1967 and Assemblyman in 1978, Cong. Expedito Malvar Leviste, whose mother Aurelia Malvar, was the eldest daughter of General Miguel Malvar.

The nephew of Governor Sanoy Leviste was elected Vice Governor in 1971. After the early demise of Governor Antonio Carpio in February 1971, he became the undisputed Governor of Batangas until 1981 – Gov. Tony Leviste, son of Don Lauro Panganiban Leviste, a brother of Governor Sanoy Leviste.

In 1971, another nephew of Governor Sanoy Leviste named Dr. Jose “Joey” Leviste Jr was elected Con-Con delegate including a cousin, Oscar Leviste. Dr. Joey Leviste’s brother became Provincial Board Member in 1988 until 1995 –Mario “Sanny” Leviste. They are the sons of Dr. Jose Leviste Sr, younger brother of Governor Sanoy Leviste.

In 2004, a grandson of Don Lauro Leviste and  a son of Mr. Conrad Leviste, former Chairman of the Bureau of Investments (BOI) was elected Board Member, and in 2007 became the youngest Vice Governor at the age of 29 — Vice Governor Mark Leviste.

Vice Governor Mark Leviste made a comeback in 2019 and is now on his unprecedented 5th term as Vice Governor of Batangas province at the age of only 44.

Recently, the Vice Governor’s eldest son won as Vice Mayor of Lian, Batangas – Ronin Leviste. At the age of 23, perhaps he is the youngest Vice Mayor in Batangas history.

Rainforests: Sustaining Life on Earth

by Rolando Inciong

Last June 22, the international community observed World Rainforest Day, an occasion to increase public awareness on rainforests and encourage people to protect them. The Rainforest Alliance Organization (RAO) defines a rainforest as a tropical woodland with an annual rainfall of at least 100 inches and marked by lofty broad-leaved evergreen trees forming a continuous canopy.

Rainforests cover less than 3 percent of the planet. They serve as home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem. They are essential to life on Earth as they provide air, water, medicine, food, and shelter to a multitude of living beings. Rainforests also protect humans against climate change as they absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The RAO added that rainforests are also home to insects, spiders and ticks, worms, snakes and lizards, frogs and toads, parrots and toucans, and sloths and jaguars.

According EarthDay.Org, healthy forests are one of the most effective climate change mitigation tools for reducing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, regulating the water cycle, and producing oxygen. In addition to their function as a carbon sink, forests provide social, environmental, and economic benefits to many communities worldwide.

Now that we know how important rainforests are, it is time for citizens to act to save, conserve and protect this very important ecosystem.

Love Our Mother Earth

by Rolando A. Inciong

                You don’t need to be an environmentalist to love our Mother Earth. As an individual, you can do the following simple acts of kindness to nature:

  1. Volunteer at EARTHDAY.ORG and participate in many initiatives, both local and global, to Restore Our Earth.
  2. Support the Great Global Cleanup every September and pick up trash while enjoying your outdoor activities.
  3. Advocate for governments to make climate change and climate literacy a core feature of school curriculum.
  4. For students, add your voice to the campus climate projects and advocate for stronger environmental commitments from your college or university.
  5. Stop deforestation by supporting companies that take an active role against it.
  6. Conserve energy at home and office.
  7. Avoid using plastic bags. Plastic pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems that we face today.
  8. Fight food waste by composting.
  9. Change your paper bills to online billing. You’ll be saving trees and the fuel it takes to deliver your bills.
  10. Eat lots of vegetables instead of meat. Grow your own organic garden. Encourage your school or organization to serve more plant-based meal options and to educate students or employees about the impacts of animal agriculture on our food system.
  11. Convince your school or office to choose reusable utensils, trays, and dishes in the canteen.
  12. Help protect the butterflies, bees and other pollinators by pledging to go pesticide-free! We need pollinators to ensure the persistence of our crop yields and ensure healthy sustainable ecosystems now and in the future.
  13. Buy organic food to keep your body and the environment free of toxic pesticides. Support farmers and companies who use organic ingredients.
  14. Always read labels. Use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products to avoid washing toxic chemicals do0n the drain.
  15. Last but most important, plant a tree.

           Why plant trees? According to the United Nations, a single mature tree can release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings. A single mature tree can absorb 4.5 kg of air pollutants, including 1.8 kg of ozone and 1.4 kg of particulates. Trees store carbon and help slow human-caused climate change. Tree canopies and leaf litter protect the soil surface from the erosive power of rain. Trees purify our air and water. They provide food, timber and medicine. Forests provide outdoor recreation, education and eco-tourism. Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion.

Biodiversity assures human health

by Rolando A. Inciong

            Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth – from the smallest organisms to the largest mammals; the different species of plants, trees, fishes; and the places where they live which we call ecosystems. Biodiversity provides us our basic needs – air, water, food, clothing materials, and the natural ingredients used in manufacturing medicines.

            The degradation of our biodiversity and ecosystems results in scarcity of food, clean water, and supply of natural ingredients for medicines; and air and water pollution. All these are threats to human health.

            Forest biodiversity offers a variety of plants and trees that provide us food, clean water and air. They provide materials for construction and many industries. Agricultural biodiversity provides us with rice and other grains, meats, fruits and vegetables. Marine biodiversity gives us all forms of fish and seafoods. Forest ecosystems provide water and purify our air; prevent soil erosion; trap carbon and other greenhouse gases; and help regulate climate. Losing such natural richness will bring harm to our health.

            According to the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, for thousands of years, humans have relied on biodiversity to cure our illnesses. In many poor countries, rural folks continue to rely on traditional medicine. India and China have incorporated traditional medicine with modern Western medicine as part of their health systems. Today, the huge pharmaceutical industry relies on biodiversity and ecosystems for natural ingredients of modern medicines.

            An example of medicine derived from nature is Ilosone, now marketed globally as Erythromycin. In 1949, the natural ingredient was discovered by a Filipino scientist, Abelardo Aguilar, who was then working for Eli Lilly Pharma Company as a researcher. Today, Erythromycin is used to prevent and treat infections, including respiratory tract infections, skin infections, diphtheria, and acute pelvic inflammatory disease, among others.

            Another example is Lagundi, which for a long time has been used as treatment for cough in the rural areas. Lagundi is now marketed in the Philippines in the form of syrup and capsule.

            Unfortunately, irresponsible human activities have degraded our biodiversity and ecosystems. These include unsustainable production and harvesting practices, illegal logging, air and water pollution that are contributing to climate change, conversion of lands and forests, irresponsible mining, illegal wildlife trading, uncontrolled use of pesticides and fertilizers, cutting of mangroves, dynamite fishing, deforestation, and many more.

            With the loss of biodiversity and degradation of our ecosystems, humanity is threatened with food shortage, poor air and water quality, and shortage of raw materials for medicine. All these are direct threats to human health.

            Today, the world faces a more urgent challenge: COVID 19. But it looks like the pandemic is a blessing in disguise as humans have slowed down in their activities, resulting in better air and water quality and a healthier biodiversity and ecosystems.

Forests and livelihood

by Rolando A. Inciong

            Forests, forest species and ecosystem services play a very important role in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people all over the world, particularly those of indigenous and local communities with linkages to forests.

The United Nations (UN) revealed that between 200 and 350 million people live within or adjacent to forested areas around the world. They rely on the various ecosystem services provided by forests and forest species for their livelihoods and to cover their basic needs such as food, shelter, medicines and energy.

The UN emphasized that indigenous peoples and local communities, including those in the Philippines, are frontliners in the symbiotic relationship between humans and forest, forest-dwelling wildlife species, and the ecosystem services that forests provide. Some 28 percent of the world’s land surface is currently managed by indigenous peoples. These areas are central to their economic and personal well-being, and their cultural identities.

Today, forests, forests species, and the livelihoods that depend on them are highly threatened by environmental and manmade crises such as climate change, pollution, illegal wildlife trade, irresponsible mining, land conversion, overexploitation, biodiversity loss, and the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As such, we should promote forest and forest wildlife management models and practices that accommodate both human well-being and the long-term conservation of forests, forest-dwelling species of wild fauna and flora, and the ecosystems they sustain. We should also promote the values of traditional practices and knowledge that contribute to establishing a more sustainable relationship with these crucial natural systems.

Individuals can help conserve biodiversity

by Rolando A. Inciong

Reducing biodiversity loss is not the sole responsibility of governments. Individuals, businesses, communities, schools, women, youth and all sectors must act while forming alliances to stage a common front against biodiversity loss. Individuals need to act.

As the world approaches the celebration of Earth Day on April 22, individuals may wish to consider the following acts of green that can help save our biodiversity.

⦁ Know more about the environment. Taking action begins by learning about the importance of the environment and what can be done to help curb destruction. To have a multiplier effect, share what you have learned with family, friends and colleagues.

⦁ Plant and nurture trees. Trees provide us with oxygen, purify our air, holds water in aquifers which assure us of drinking water supply, prevents soil erosion, and absorbs carbon dioxide to lessen the negative effects of climate change.

⦁ Maintain a garden. Use idle space in your home or business areas for a garden, and plant herbs, flowers, and maybe some medicinal plants that can provide home remedies for coughs and colds. Tight spaces require some creativity, and empty bottles of soda and other large containers can help create that makeshift garden.

⦁ Reduce, reuse and recycle. Buy products in bulk or environment-friendly packaging to reduce your contribution to landfills. Reuse and recycle products, especially plastic containers.

⦁ BYOB. Always bring your own bag (BYOB) so that purchases at the supermarket or shopping mall won’t require plastic bags at the checkout counter.

⦁ Ride a bike. Bike commuting is a healthy alternative and reduces dependence on cars and fuel.

⦁ Conserve water and energy. Don’t keep water running when washing dishes or brushing teeth. Turn off lights and other appliances when they’re not being used.

⦁ Buy local products. Products that travel less leave a smaller carbon footprint. Patronize fruits, vegetables and other products that are produced locally since they are not only good for the environment, but good for the local economy as well.

⦁ Buy organic. Perhaps if people bought more organic products, this will reduce the price of organic goods and encourage more farmers and manufacturers to reduce pesticide use and go green. There are already a number of locally produced personal hygiene and household products on the market. Organic products, particularly fruits, vegetables and meat, contribute to a healthier population and a stronger planet.

⦁ Join an environmental activity or event. During Earth Day (April 22), International Day for Biodiversity (May 22), World Environment Day (June 5) and other environmental events, participate in activities to celebrate these events.


by Sonny T. Mallari

Kapag ang isang kandidato o kandidata sa inyong lugar ay palaging nakangiti, namumudmod ng pera at nagpapagawa ng proyekto mula sa sariling bulsa – hindi siya mabait na tao. Siya ay tusong pulitiko na namumuhunan o nangangapital na parang sugal.

Dahil kapag siya ang nananalo, ang una niyang gagawin sa kapangyarihan ay ang magnakaw sa kaban ng bayan para makabawi sa kanyang puhunan o ginastos noong panahon na binobola niya ang mga botante. Hindi tanga ang mga ito para gumastos ng kanilang sariling salapi kung walang tinatarget na kapalit. Ito natural na ikot ng mundo ng mga pulitikong Pinoy, mapuwera ang ilan na mabibilang lang sa daliri.

Kaya maging mapangmatyag na kapag may nagbibigay ng pera para iboto ang kandidato o kandidata o kaya naman ay nagyayabang na nagpagawa siya ng proyekto sa lugar kahit hindi naman niya nasasakupan…alam na ninyo ang dapat isipin. Isa itong porma ng vote buying. At ang kapalit – magnanakaw siya kapag nanalo sa halalan. 

Ganito ang eleksyon sa bansa ni Juan de la Cruz. Kaya huwag magpapatuso sa darating na halalan. Maging matalino tayo sa pagboto.

Meron din namang mga kandidato na namimigay din ng pera sa porma ng ayuda lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya. Pero ang salaping ipinamimigay ay nagmula sa pondo ng mga proyekto at programa ng gubyerno at hindi dinukot sa kanyang sariling bulsa.

Ngunit hindi ang ibig sabihin nito ay kuripot ang pulitiko o ayaw bumunot sa kanyang sariling bulsa para tumulong. Nagpapakita lang ito ng kanyang kasipagan at pagkamalikhain sa paghahanap ng paraan kung paano matutulungan ang kanyang mga kababayan sa panahon ng kagipitan bilang isang matapat na lingkod bayan.

At dahil mula sa estado ang perang ipinamumudmod, maling isipin na isa itong porma ng vote buying. Nararapat pa ngang saluduhan ang tauhan ng pamahalaan sa kanyang malawak na kaalaman sa kung paano niya magagampanan ang kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin para sa kapakinabangan ng mga mamamayan. At isa itong mahalagang basehan upang muli silang iboto.


Dahil sa dumi ng pulitika sa bansa, walang maniwala sa ikinakalat ng kampo ni dating Senador Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. na yung kandidato nila sa karera patungong Malakanyang ang nangunguna sa mga surveys. Hindi naman nila ibabandilyo ang surveys kung talo ang manok nila sa ranking. Lumalabas na parang hinihimas lang nila ang bayag ng bata nila sa harap ng publiko.

Dahil bakit naman sa tunay na nangyayari sa kampanyahan sa maraming lugar ay makikita sa mga litrato, video footages at drone shots na mas makapal ang tao sa campaign rallies ni Vice President Leni Robredo na kandidato rin sa pagkapangulo ng bansa sa darating na eleksyon? Kongkreto ang ebidensya na magpapatunay sa kapal ng tao. Mapapanood. Sabi nga, may resibo. Boluntaryong dumalo. Walang palatandaang hinakot ng mga trak, bus at binayaran para lang makita sa pagtitipon.

Pero siyempre, nagpupuputak ang mga alipores na pulitiko ng batang Marcos at gumagawa ng mga kung ano-anong alegasyon para pagdudahan ang katotohanan sa mga malalaking campaign events para kay VP Leni. Inaasahan na ito sa kanila. Minsan ay talagang mahirap tanggapin ang masakit na katotohan.

Now, balik tayo sa number one raw sa mga surveys? Binayaran ba ang mga “kalye surveys” para palabasin at ikundisyon ang mentalidad ng mga nanonood lang sa bakod na si Bongbong nga ang paborito sa darating na halalan? Hinawsyaw? Dinaya ang kunyari ay surveys? Kung ganito nga, inuuto lang nila ang kanilang sarili.

Anyway, ang tunay na survey ay malalaman sa May 9 election. Pero kung ang pagbabasehan ay ang mga kongretong resibo sa mga nagaganap na mga political rallies, llamado si VP Leni sa mga tumatakbong presidente.


Nakakalungkot ang patuloy na pamamayagpag ng mga tiwaling mamamahayag ngayong panahon ng eleksyon. Sa halip na maging daluyan ang aming hanay ng mga makabuluhang impormasyon para makatulong sa matalinong pagpapasya ng mga botante sa darating na halalan, ang nangyayari ay ang iba sa amin ang nagsisibing ugat o pasimuno ng pagpapakalat ng mga pekeng balita (istorya o kuwento ang bansag ko dahil kadalasan ay walang byline ng sumulat) para iligaw o pagtakpan ang katotohanan sa publiko.

Ito ang nagaganap na sabwatan ng mga tiwaling mamamahayag at mga desperadong dirty politicians na siguro, dahil batid nilang hindi sila mananalo sa matino nilang katunggali, ang pokus na lang ay gibain ang reputasyon ng kalaban o yung tinatawag na “character assassination” sa pamamagitan ng mga pekeng impormasyon sa media, kadalasan ay sa mga tabloid, na inilalagay naman ang links sa Facebook page na peke o mapanlinlang din ang mga nilalaman.

Ang resulta – 69% ngayon ng mga matatandang Pinoy ang naniniwalang nakakabahala na ang mga pekeng balita sa media – radio, telebisyon at peryodiko – at kahit sa Facebook. Batay ito sa survey ng Social Weather Stations na inilabas nitong nakaraang Feb. 25.


Putsa! Pinutol ng Russian government ang access sa Facebook ng kanilang mamamayan kaugnay sa patuloy na ginagawang pananakop ng armadong puwersa ni President Vladimir Putin sa karatig na bansang Ukraine. Maraming mga Ruso ang nagsasagawa ng protesta bilang pagtutol sa gerang inilunsad ng kanilang pangulo. At ngayong nawalan sila ng Facebook, malamang ay mas lalong dadami ang mga demonstrador laban sa gubyerno ni Putin. Pero magaganap ito kung kasing-adik ng mga Pinoy ang mga Ruso sa social media partikular sa Facebook. Ha, ha, ha!

Ano kaya at ipagbawal din ng pamahalaan ang Facebook sa Pilipinas? Ito ang tiyak na maglulunsad ng malaking giyera sibil na tatalo sa mahigit 50 taon nang rebelyon ng mga komunistang rebelde. Batay sa datos as of December 2021, tinatayang nasa 95, 700, 000 ang Facebook users sa Pilipinas at 53.4% sa mga ito ay kababaihan. Sa kanilang hanay nagsimula ang maraming “Marites” sa kasalukuyang panahon.

The Missing Papers of Ka Pepe Diokno Where are they now?

by Derrick Manas

According to Atty Chel Diokno, the tons of papers and documents of his father, Senator Jose “Ka Pepe” W. Diokno disappeared when Martial Law was declared in 1972.

Ka Pepe Diokno was Senator from 1965 until the day when Martial Law was declared on September 21, 1972, though the official announcement didn’t happen until 2 days later on September 23 and he ceased to exist as a Senator of the Republic and were arrested along with others.

Congress was padlocked and during the entire duration of the Marcos regime, they were not able to get a hand and retrieved his documents. Marcos was deposed in 1986 and Ka Pepe Diokno passed away in 1987

It was confiscated by the military apparently and nobody knows what they did to those very important official documents of the Senate until today that could serve as references in analyzing and writing a part of Philippine history.

Along with it were the documents of other Senators who fought on the side of the opposition.Many of them were imprisoned such as Ninoy Aquino, Jovito Salonga, Lorenzo Tañada, Ramon Mitra among others.

The only ones they were able to keep were Ka Pepe Diokno’s documents about the many court cases he handled from the time when he was a young lawyer, (a bar topnotcher in 1945 with a grade of 95.3%), until he became Justice Secretary in 1961 and the human rights cases he pursued to defend the poor and the oppressed through the FLAG (Free Legal Assistance Group) which he established in 1974.

With that Atty Chel Diokno published 2 books entitled, the Model Pleadings of Jose W. Diokno and Diokno on Trial.

For historians like us, this is very disappointing. In fact in general, in most aspects of our history, the Philippines lack the capability of preserving old documents through proper archiving.

No wonder, I learned that Spain refused to turn over documents pertaining to the Katipunan which they confiscated when the Revolution broke out in 1896, basically because we dont have proper archiving in the Philippines, what more a state-of-the-art facilities.

So many historians would even travel to Spain just to make a research with all the financial expenses which many times they shoulder unless given a grant.

Celebrating the life and legacy of Jose “Ka Pepe” W. Diokno for his Birth Centennial (100 Years) on February 26. Born on February 26, 1922.






Senator Jose "Ka Pepe" W. Diokno
Senator Jose “Ka Pepe” W. Diokno