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FLAG-Bicol's General, Carpio in Bantayog ng mga Bayani

By Jason B. Neola

THE late FLAG-Bikol lawyers Luis General Jr. and J. Antonio M. Carpio were nominated in the Bantayog ng mga Bayani by Judge Soliman M. Santos Jr. for their exemplary contributions as Bicolandia’s leading human rights lawyers.

In his letter to the Board of Trustees of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, Santos, a retired RTC Judge in Naga City, said that General and Carpio were cause-oriented group leaders during the Marcos martial law years from 1972 to 1986, starting with their earliest political detention upon its declaration.

Santos recalled that: “I have had the privilege as a young law student and human rights lawyer myself during the early 1980 of personally knowing and working with them in anti-Marcos dictatorship advocacy and in human rights lawyering for political detainees.”

Judge Santos, as he supplied the Foundation with a brief information on Atty. General, said that the man was an esteemed veteran peryodista of renowned local newspapers such as Naga Times, Balalong, and Handiong ranging from the pre-martial law to the early post-EDSA years.

Santos honored Atty. Carpio in his letter as the leading figure in the 1981 Kilusang Mamamayan para sa Tunay na Demokrasya (KMTD) and in the anti-fascist advocacy around the Daet Massacre of that year. It was in this year that Carpio faced his second political detention.

“General and Carpio might be described as the Bicol counterparts of the national-level FLAG lawyers Jose W. Diokno and Joker P. Arroyo,” Santos, who keeps a file of his own writings and publications about General and Carpio’s feats and deeds during the martial law years, said.

The writings and publications that Santos submitted to the Foundation to support his nomination of Attorneys General and Carpio are:

“The Arrest, Detention, and Release of Carpio and Magana” (30 September 1981), published in Soliman M. Santos Jr., Heart and Mind in Bicol, 1994;

“Luising General and Tony Carpio: The Passing of an Era of the Camarines Sur Lawyer,” published in Soliman M. Santos Jr., Homages & Histories (Ateneo de Naga University Press, 2015, and;

Soliman M. Santos Jr. (ed), Luis General Jr. (1921-2021): A Centennial Memorial (University of Nueva Caceres Press, 2021.

Santos concluded his letter by expressing his sincere belief that the Bantayog recognition for General and Carpio is long overdue.


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