Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Feature Article
Huk Supremo to be interred in hometown
By Ashley Manabat

Jun 13, 2018

ANGELES CITY – The remains of “Huk Supremo” Luis M. Taruc will finally be interred in his hometown of San Luis.

Robby Tantingco, director of the Center for Kapampangan Studies at the Holy Angel University here, said Taruc’s remains will be exhumed at the Loyola Memorial Park in Manila on June 19 followed by his cremation.

Tantingco said Taruc will be interred in San Luis on the occasion of his 105th birthday on June 21.

“Dr. Romy Taruc expressed to us his father’s wish to be eventually buried in his land of birth and so, on the Huk Supremo’s 105th birth anniversary, his exhumed mortal remains will be permanently enshrined at the Freedom Park of his hometown San Luis,” Tantingco said.

“The exhumation at Loyola Memorial Park will occur on June 19, followed by cremation there,” he added.

Tantingco said the ash will be initially taken to the Luis Taruc Museum in San Luis for a twonight vigil.

“On the morning of June 21, his birth anniversary, we will reinter it at the shrine,” he said.

Tantingco said the proponent of all the activity is historian Francis Musni. Mayor Venancio S. Macapagal said the event will coincide with the celebration of their town fiesta, the feast of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. Macapagal said Taruc’s ashes will be put on a carriage and brought to the San Luis Church.

Various activities are also lined up for the occasion, he added.

According to readily available information from the internet, Taruc is the leader of the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon (Hukbalahap), the Nation’s Army Against the Japanese Soldiers) or Hukbong Laban sa Hapon (Anti-Japanese Army), a Communist guerilla movement formed by the peasant farmers of Central Luzon. They were popularly known simply as “Huks”. They were originally formed to fight the Japanese, but extended their fight into a rebellion against the Philippine Government, known as the Hukbalahap Rebellion, in 1946. It was finally put down through a series of reforms and military victories by Filipino President Ramon Magsaysay.

“Taruc became aware of the unjust situation of tenant farmers and the poor in 1935 and decided to leave his haberdashery business to his wife so he could help, protect and serve the poor, maltreated and suffering peasants. Influenced by his idol socialist Pedro Abad Santos of San Fernando and inspired by earlier Katipunan revolutionaries such as Felipe Salvador, Taruc joined the “Aguman ding Maldang Tala-pagobra” (AMT, Union of Peasant Workers) and in 1938, the “Partido Socialista.” The latter merged with the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas as part of the Common Front strategy, and Taruc assumed the role of Commander- in-Chief of the military wing created to fight the Japanese.”

After the war against Japan, the Hukbalahap continued their demands for agrarian reform. Taruc and seven colleagues were elected to the House of Representatives but the government of Manuel Roxas did not allow them to take their seats in Congress. The Taruc faction opposed the parity rights that the U.S. required from post-independence Philippines as a condition for rehabilitation funding. In the next five years, Taruc would give up on the parliamentary struggle and once more take up arms. At the height of its popularity, the Hukbalahap reached a fighting strength estimated at between 10,000 and 30,000.”

On March 29, 1950, Taruc’s men led by a certain Commander Alibasbas raided the villages of Sta. Ines and San Francisco in the town of Mabalacat in Pampanga.

Records from the Supreme Court, People of the Philippines versus Luis Tarucet al said: “On or about March 29, 1950, an armed band of about 200 HMBs under Commander Alibasbas, taking advantage of nighttime, and with evident premeditation and treachery, raided and attacked the barrios of Sta. Ines and San Francisco, Mabalacat, Pampanga, resulting in the killing of one civilian, Ana Pasamonte, the wounding of two civilians, Jose Manabat and Jose Hipolito, the capture and torture of Seditio Manabat, a civilian, and the burning of ten civilian houses, more or less.”

On May 4, 2005, Taruc died of a heart attack at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City at the age of 91. Many political figures went to his wake to pay respect and give support to his family.

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