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Remains of Luis Taruc to be reinterred in San Luis

The mortal remains of Luis Taruc, founder of the biggest resistance movement in the Philippines during World War II, will be returned to his birthplace in San Luis, Pampanga on June 21, 2018.

Taruc, who died in 2005 and was buried at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City in 2005, will be reinterred on the occasion of his 105th birth anniversary which is also the feast day of the town’s patron saint, San Luis Gonzaga.

“His family, through his son Dr. Romeo Taruc, has long wanted to bring him home to his final resting place,” says historian Francis Musni, who initiated the process with the Holy Angel University’s Center for Kapampangan Studies.

Taruc’s remains will be exhumed and cremated on June 19 in the presence of family members and San Luis government officials led by Mayor Venancio Macapagal. The cortege will head for San Luis town on the same day, with a stopover at the Pampanga Capitol Building, where Gov. Lilia Pineda and provincial government officials will pay their respects to the Kapampangan hero and patriot.

A two-night vigil will be held at the town’s San Luis Gonzaga Parish Church on June 19 and 20, to be followed by a Holy Mass presided by Pampanga’s Archbishop-Emeritus Most Rev. Paciano Aniceto and the reinterment ceremonies, both in the morning of June 21.

The San Luis Freedom Park will now also be known as the Luis Taruc Shrine since it contains, aside from his actual remains, the Luis Taruc Museum and the historical marker of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) detailing his heroic record.

Taruc, who co-founded the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon (HUKBALAHAP) in 1942, led a guerrilla movement during World War II, which he recounted in his autobiography, Born of the People, a book that South African rebel-turned-president Nelson Mandela acknowledged as an inspiration for his own peasant movement and guerrilla warfare.

After the war, Taruc was elected to the House of Representatives where he vigorously opposed bills that would give American businessmen the right to own property in the country and that would extend the military bases agreement. The Commission on Elections then slapped fraud and terrorism charges against him in the previous election which nullified his victory and gave Congress the basis for ejecting him.

Taruc went into hiding and resurfaced as a politburo leader in the new insurgency movement called Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB). He surrendered in 1954 to face trial. He was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment, during which additional charges were made, leading to four life sentences. He was pardoned by President Marcos in 1968.

After his release, Taruc continued working for agrarian reform and Huk veterans benefits. He died on May 4, 2005 at age 91.

Date Posted: 06-20-2018