JASUL, Ramon V.

jasulRamon Jasul was the fourth child of a middle-class family from Lucban, Quezon. He was bright and diligent and showed strong leadership qualities. He was corps commander in his senior year in high school and contributed to the high school paper, The Banahaw.

Jasul had a questioning mind, refusing to accept things as they are. “What is truth?” he asked. We must, he said, “try to learn the unknown.” He wanted to be a journalist. In his high school yearbook, he wrote: “The best use of a journal is to print the largest amount of important truth which tends to make mankind wiser, thus happier.”

Enrolling at the Lyceum of the Philippines when student activism was at its height, Jasul joined a group called Samahang Molave. He was an ordinary member but active in its teach-ins, group discussions and seminars. He joined rallies and demonstrations, occasionally getting hit with truncheons; once he was detained for several hours at the police headquarters in Manila.

When the writ of habeas corpus was suspended in 1971, he left Lyceum and returned to Lucban. There, he organized the Bagong Kabataan ng Lukban (New Youth of Lucban), which he headed until martial law was declared in 1972.

Jasul went underground and continued to organize youth groups in his area, this time, directed against the new repressive regime. In 1973, his older brother Alfredo, who had also gone underground, was killed by PC troops in Tayabas, Quezon.

Ramon Jasul disappeared in July-August 1977, together with nine other activists: Cristina Catalla, Gerardo Faustino, Rizalina Ilagan, Jessica Sales, Modesto Sison, Emmanuel Salvacruz, Salvador Panganiban, Virgilio Silva and Erwin Dela Torre. Members of the 2nd Military Intelligence Group based in Southern Tagalog are suspected to be behind their disappearance. Only Sison’s body has been found, buried anonymously in a common grave at a cemetery in Lucena City in March 1978.

Writing about her brother, Carmen Jasul said that his dream for the Philippines was for it to be prosperous, happy and free of violence: “Isa siya sa mga naghahangad ng isang lipunang masagana, maligaya at malaya sa anumang anyo ng pandarahas.”