PEDRO, Purificacion A.
Purificacion Pedro was a church social worker who died in a Bataan hospital in 1977 while under military detention.
Purificacion (“Puri”) spent most of her professional years working as social worker at Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Cubao, Quezon City. She helped run a parish day nursery, a sewing group for urban poor women and several cooperatives. During the fl oods in 1972, Puri volunteered her services, bringing medicine and relief goods to many aff ected areas around Quezon City.
She left her parish job in 1974 and worked as a volunteer for the organizations supporting the anti-Chico Dam movement in Northern Luzon. In 1976, she had been accepted as a staff member of the Luzon Secretariat for Social Action (LUSSA).
But she died before she could start on the job. Days before, Puri had gone on a clandestine trip to Bataan to visit with friends who have joined the New People’s Army. Her timing was off , however, because a military operation was in progress at the area. She was captured in an armed encounter, with a bullet wound in her shoulder.
Puri’s family found her at the Bataan Provincial Hospital, recovering from her wound and under military guard. Her relatives took turns watching her because Puri asked them never to leave her alone with her military captors.
On her sixth day of confinement, however, constabulary intelligence men from Manila came and forced their way into her room. They drove out Puri’s watcher, saying they were interrogating Puri. Puri was left alone with them for one hour inside her hospital room. After they had left, Puri was found dead, strangled inside her hospital bathroom. She was 29 years old.