Erasto Librado, more known by his nickname Nonoy, was the eldest of seven children. His parents sold vegetables and goods in a small sari-sari store in the market. The family lived in the store, and Nonoy and his siblings helped run it.
He studied hard, passing the board exams for accountants while still underage. He did not immediately get his certificate as a Certified Public Accountant. He studied law for two years.
His first job was at the Bank of the Philippine Islands(BPI) in the late 1960s. He joined the BPI employees union and was its president for more than 10 years. As president, he was usually the union’s lead negotiator for Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the BPI management.
Nonoy was married in 1971.
Following Marcos’ declaration of martial law was the widespread crackdown on activists, including labor unions and labor organizers. Nonoy started community work around Davao City, to try to organize and conscienticize the people to fight for democracy and resist the martial rule of the Marcos regime.
Together with other activists, Nonoy helped put up people’s organizations and launched conscientization programs where issues such as oil price hikes, the lack of land reform, and the abuse of workers’ rights and other people’s issues, including the issue about the martial law government, were discussed.
In 1980, mass arrest of known labor leaders took place after the Davao City-wide coordinated launching of a campaign called the “Lumpagon ang Balaod Militar (or LBM).” Dismantle martial law. This consisted mostly of painting slogans along street walls. Spared from arrest, he assumed the leadership of the Davao City trade union organizing.
Despite the threats and the risk, Nonoy gained even greater responsibilities as a union organizer in the city of Davao. With Hernando Cortez (a Bantayog honoree), they collaborated to create a Mindanao-wide workers organization. They called it the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Mindanao or United Workers in Mindanao, NAMAMIN. By the early 1980s NAMAMIN had over 170 labor unions from different parts of Mindanao as members.
Nonoy led the Mindanao delegates when Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) was established in Manila on May 1, 1980.
Nonoy continued to help organize new labor federations, including the National Federation of Labor (NFL), which expanded to some parts of the Visayas, the United Lumber and General Workers of the Philippines (ULGWP) the Southern Philippines Federation of Labor (SPFL) and the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Habagatang Mindanao (United Workers of Southern Mindanao) or NAMAHMIN.
With his fellow labor activists, Nonoy formed the Center for Trade Union in Mindanao or CENTRUM in the early 1980s. This center coordinated the many political campaigns by workers in Mindanao directed against the continuing Marcos dictatorship. It helped launch Mindanao-wide protest activities such as long marches and general strikes (welgang bayan). The protest slogans called for the end of militarization, killings and other abuses of the Marcos martial law regime. They also called for protests against the rising cost of commodities and oil, and other issues affecting the people.
Nonoy championed the concept of workers uniting with the rest of the population to advance and fight for the general welfare of the people.
With the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983 and Alex Orcullo in 1984, Nonoy helped in the formation in Mindanao of new alliances including the Justice for Aquino Justice for All (JAJA) and the Coalition of Organization for Restoration of Democracy (CORD).
He was arrested with his wife in December 1984, tortured and held in solitary confinement.The couple was released in 1985, helped in a large part by local and international pressure.
After the defeat of the Marcos regime in 1986, Nonoy continued to support calls for the release of political prisoners and justice for the victims of the Marcos dictatorship. He was secretary general of KMU-Mindanao from 1986 to 1992.
He went into electoral politics, running as councilor for the first district of Davao City during the 1992 elections. He won the post but served only for 54 days.He died of aneurism in August of that year.
Recognizing Nonoy’s commitment for the workers and the Filipino people, the Nonoy Librado Development Foundation, Inc. (NLDFI) was established by his family and friends to continue his advocacy of providing legal and moral services to the oppressed sectors.