I remember Father Rustico Tan
First off, allow me to dabble on a family history as today is the 100th birthday of my Tita Rosario (Pollyang)Avila de Veyra. My first cousin, Chinggay Utzurrum, who writes for SunStar, already wrote a wonderful tribute of her mother a few days ago, so let me just add a little more about my father’s sister, Tita Pollyang. I have always known her as the Dean of Women at the University of San Carlos (USC), who was married to Dr. Manuel “Tito Manny” de Veyra, one of the stalwarts of the Rotary Club of Cebu (Mother) where Tita Pollyang was president of the Inner Wheel Club.
Tito Manny survived the infamous Death March in Capas, Tarlac and wrote the book “A Doctor in Bataan.” When I joined the Rotary Club and often called upon Tito Manny, he would admonish me that I should not be calling him “Tito” in the Rotary Club meetings. From Chinggay's article, I learned that she was a directress of the Young Ladies Association of Charity (YLAC). She has three children, Manuel “Didoy”, Chinggay and Teresa “Binggay”. Happy 100th birthday, Tita Pollyang!
The news item was about an alleged high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) who was apprehended in Barangay Pasil in Santander last Thursday night. When I further read the news report, this high-ranking NPA leader turned out to be Rustico “Paking” Tan, who was once known as Fr. Rustico Tan. Apparently, because it was too long ago, people forgot this priest-turned-rebel who once represented the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Right after the EDSA Revolt of 1986, when the Communist of the Philippines (CPP) held peace talks with the Philippine government, and thus CPP-NDF-NPAofficials roamed free all over the country without fear of arrests, the Rotary Club of Cebu then had Fr. Rustico Tan as our guest speaker. After his speech, which revealed many of the plans of the communists, I asked him during the Q and A: If the CPP would get hold of the Philippine government, would Filipino intellectuals be sent to the countryside just like what they did in Vietnam or China when the communists took over? His answer was a resounding “Yes”!
That was 30 years ago, and apparently, Fr. Tan has remained a communist, upgrading himself into the NPA as vice commanding officer of the Western Visayas Operations Command based in Negros Island. He apparently had 14 warrants of arrest for multiple murder, three for frustrated murder, and one attempted murder issued by the Bohol Regional Trial Court Branch 47. What can I say but congratulations to the Military Intelligence Group (MIG-7) for the operation that finally captured the elusive priest-turned-rebel. I just hope that while he is in military or police custody, they should make sure that he stays locked in prison for this once man of God has turned into a serious killer.
There are so many great and positive news about the ASEAN 50 Summit in Manila, which formally ended yesterday. And after the dust settles, we will come up with a postscript of the ASEAN 50 – decisions affecting the peoples of ASEAN and the negative issues that ASEAN failed to tackle like the issue on human rights, which was not given any importance during this summit, along with the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.
But the biggest negative news we got was the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) rally that was dispersed by the police with water cannons. A series of photos I saw on my Facebook page was a lot of trash and garbage that the rallyists left behind in what would have been an ultra clean Manila which was prepared for the ASEAN Summit. Yesterday, Bayan was back this time in Mendiola for their final rally.
What has Bayan done of the nation? First, it has only shown that they have adopted an un-Filipino trait. Filipinos are a very hospitable people and holding a rally when the world’s leaders are here for a visit isn’t something that Filipinos want to see happen. Secondly, Bayan has shown that ugly Filipino trait of carelessly throwing their garbage away. Of course, we know that Bayan is the above ground ally of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) who wants to turn Philippine democracy into a communist state, something that Filipinos would never want to see happen.