/** reg.philippine: 108.0 **/
** Topic: Tribute to Bishop Antonino Nepomuceno **
** Written 8:34 AM Feb 15, 1997 by fbp in cdp:reg.philippine **
From: NFPC@phil.gn.apc.org (NFPC) (by way of "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>)
Subject: Tribute to Bishop Antonino Nepomuceno
The Board of Directors, Secretariat and member organizations of the Nuclear-Free Philippines Coalition (NFPC) deeply mourn and grieved over the untimely loss of its Co-Chairperson, Bishop Antonino Nepomuceno.
Bishop Nepomuceno was a tireless and fearless fighter for human rights, democracy, national sovereignty and for the envi ronment. He was one of the early voices within the church who stood up against oppression and tyranny during the darkest days of the Marcos dictatorship. As Bishop of the Prelate of Cotabato, he left no stone unturned until the notorious killers of Italian priest Fr. Favali were apprehended, brought to trial and sentenced. In Mindanao and wherever he was, he brought the Church on the side of the "poor, the weak and the oppressed". His pulpit consistently articulated the voice of a liberative church that took the side of the farmers, workers and other oppressed Filipinos. He made us recognize that the bible was an active and living message of HOPE and JUSTICE relevant to social transformation.
Bishop Nepomuceno was one of the original founders of the anti-nuclear movement in the country and one of its key leaders since the founding of the Nuclear Free Philippines Coalition in 1981. This great church intellectual contributed immensely in broadening and widening the influence of the people's movement for national sovereignty and democratic rights. He never really knew how to "retire" for after his retirement as Auxilliary Bishop Emeritus of Cotabato, he practically became full time in the struggle against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, nuclear weapons and the U.S. military bases. He was also actively involved in trade union and human rights, alternative energy and the environment for which he was an indefatigable leader and activist these past few years.
He was with us in many of our struggles, the marches, and the vigils in which he always had an inspiring presence. He had also officiated in many wakes and necrological services for countless people's martyrs and victims of human rights. For this he loved so much to quote from this passage from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow which, again we now quote for this good Christian:
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn mein.
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother
Seeing shall lift heart again."
Prof. ROLAND G. SIMBULAN
Atty. CORAZON VALDEZ-FABROS