Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
Luis G. Jalandoni
Member, National Executive Committee
Chairperson, Negotiating Panel National Democratic Front of the Philippines
National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) pays tribute to Most Rev. Miguel Purugganan, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Ilagan. We are saddened by his death. We convey our heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues in the church, friends and the many people he cared for as a shepherd of his flock.
Bishop Purugganan stood up bravely as one of the magnificent seven Catholic bishops who denounced martial law and the Marcos dictatorship from the very start. He courageously set up the nationwide Basic Christian Communities â€“ Community Organizing (BCC-CO), which organized and mobilized the oppressed and exploited masses to stand up for their rights and collectively advance their interests and fight for the fundamental national and democratic aspirations of the people. He was the chairperson of the BCC-CO for many years.
He had no qualms at all in taking into his staff of organizers even those who may have been on the wanted list of the Marcos dictatorship. When any of his staff was arrested and detained by the Marcos military, he immediately took up the cudgels for them and demanded their immediate and unconditional release.
Even when he was the Head or Beadle of the priest students in Rome in the 1960s, he was loved by his fellow priests and the seminarians for always upholding their rights and welfare, while at the same time earning the respect of the Seminary authorities. Even at that early time he already showed his character as a just and caring person. No wonder that as priest and bishop his co-workers among the priests, religious sisters and lay workers admired him and were inspired by his leadership in serving the needs of the people.
He went beyond his diocese by organizing the fraternal cooperation between his diocese and that of Groningen in The Netherlands. For many years there would be exchange of visits and active fraternal cooperation between the two dioceses.
The Filipino people, especially those that were privileged to experience his bravery, his keen sense of justice, his organizing ability and his caring ministry, will long cherish his noble memory.
Long live the inspiration and exemplary spirit of service of Bishop Miguel Purugganan!