Marciano Anastacio, Chuck to his friends and family, was a compassionate and generous person, who often reminded his younger sisters of the values of being humble and generous. With his natural warmth, Chuck easily related with people, young or old, rich or poor. He took food from the family pantry to give to poor neighbors next door. Chuck did not think twice about parting with his clothes and money if he thought someone needed them more than he did.
Chuck, however, went through a difficult adolescence. He figured in neighborhood brawls and indulged in drugs and alcohol. He moved from one school to another and could not hold on to any job. He became the proverbial tambay, spending his days hanging out with friends, drinking in front of sari-sari stores and warring with gangs from other neighborhoods.
Chuck’s life began to take direction when he met an activist who showed him facets of Philippine society he had never seen before. He began to question his own life, started reading progressive literature and eventually became an activist himself. He was at this time enrolled in a school studying to become a pilot. He decided to drop out and devote himself to fulltime organizing in the urban poor communities in Makati’s fourth district.
History of Political Involvement
Chuck turned out to be a gifted mover and organizer. He organized the youth for anti-drug campaigns and sports contests. Partly because of his efforts, the community petitioned the municipal government to build a community hall. Gradually, Chuck shook off his earlierapathy and lack of direction and inspired the community he worked with to do the same.
In 1975, Chuck helped organize the workers in the now famous La Tondeña strike, where about 800 workers held a sit-down strike to demand the regularization of contractuals and the reinstatement of retrenched temporary workers. That strike was the first under martial law and inspired a strike wave in Metro Manila. It broke the silence of workers, peasants, the youth, and professionals alike.
Chuck eventually became a union organizer in Gelmart Industries Philippines, one of the largest multinational companies in the country during that time. His union work came between him and his mother as his stepfather was a Gelmart executive. But he kept on helping the workers press for higher wages, and for safer and less repressive conditions at the workplace.
Everywhere he went, Chuck was indefatigable in his efforts to raise awareness of the Marcos government’s excesses and of the country’s problems. Mobilizing his community for a noise barrage called by the opposition party Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN) on the eve of the 1978 elections for the Interim Batasang Pambansa, he was elated to find even his conservative sisters among the crowd, calling for freedom and reforms in government.
In 1980, a military agent shot him in the face and left him to die in an isolated garbage dump in Cavite. But Chuck stuck tenaciously to life. He crawled his way to the highway where ironically a policeman (then called Metrocom) found him and brought him to the hospital. He was under intensive care for more than a month. The bullet went through the right side of his cheek and out his throat. He never fully recovered his voice.
Chuck and his family were under constant military surveillance at the hospital. As it was martial law and Chuck could identify his attacker, he and his family realized his life was still in danger. Thus, his friends from the labor unions worked with the hospital’s doctors to have him moved to another hospital where he recuperated.
As soon as he was back on his feet, Chuck fled to the Sierra Madre mountains in the Quezon- Bicol Region and joined the guerrilla resistance. By 1981, he was a community organizer for the NPA in Camarines Sur. He helped farmers settle land disputes and put up cooperatives. The reformed drunkard led anti-gambling campaigns. He knew he also had to build rapport with influential figures so he befriended the millers and merchants.
Chuck tried to get farmers to petition for more equitable land distribution with a powerful landlord. But the landlord sought military help, and the farmers’ petition went nowhere. His most notable accomplishment in Camarines was the installation of the suyuan, a system whereby farmers cooperated and coordinated so that everyone could harvest on time. The system united and strengthened the community.
Chuck also helped organize rallies against widespread human rights violations, mobilizing communities to protest the Marcos administration’s abuses. In 1981,Chuck was among the organizers of a massive protest rally in Sipocot, not far from where four martyrs would fall from indiscriminate firing by the military in what would be known as the Daet Massacre.
Co-activist Bobbie Jopson says of Chuck: “He was serious in his work but also has a wit that would make us all laugh. We often had community assemblies and even with his hoarse voice (because of the bullet that damaged his windpipe), he would try to lead the people in chanting. He was a very good comrade and friend who I will always cherish and remember.”
Manner and Circumstances of Death
On December 18,1982, Chuck and a companion farmer were ambushed by soldiers. Witnesses saw them captured alive, but the following day, their bodies,which bore several gunshot wounds,were paraded in front of the municipal hall of San Jose Panganiban. Chuck’s family, with the help of Task Force Detainees and the parish of Paracale, managed to claim his body two months later. The body was wrapped in plastic then thrown in a dumpsite near the town cemetery.
Despite the fecklessness of his youth, Chuck answered the call to serve and thus changed his life for the better. Though this decision would eventually cost him his life, his service and sacrifice left an indelible mark on the lives of those whose livelihoods he fought to protect. He was 27.
BORN May 11, 1955 in Baguio City
DIED December 18, 1982 in San Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte
PARENTS MarcialAnastacio and Milagros Peñaflor
Siblings 1 brother, 5 sistersBirth sequence of hero: 3rd
Elementary St. Theresa’s College, Baguio City
St. Louis University
High School St. Louis University, Baguio City
College University of the East, Manila
Bantayog Profile Sheet accomplished by Mylene Anastacio and Rina A. Sadorra, sisters
MARTYR Profile Sheet accomplished by Teresa A. Jover, sister
Narrative sent in by the family, May 31, 2016 (corroborated by MariyaJopsonLagman)
E-mail communication between Bantayog Research and Rina A. Sadorra, sister, containing a brief narrative from Bobbie Jopson, September 6, 2016.
MyleneAnastacio, sister of nominee, Quezon City, 1986
Fides H., friend, 1986
Narrative of Audie L. Dela Cruz, Indirect Services Desk, Task Force Detainees, 2016