LORCA, Napoleon Porras

Napoleon Lorca picNapoleon Lorca is the older brother of Rolando Lorca. Nap, as he was called, became a youth activist by joining the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) in 1968. As KM members, Fluellen Ortigas said that he and Nap had common friends like Eugene Grey (Bantayog recognized martyr), Boy Ramos (died in Bicol) and Charlie Shin whom they met during a meeting somewhere in UP village. Nap traveled with Ortigas to Iloilo late in 1971 after Marcos suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus right after the Plaza Miranda bombing. Nap and Fluellen worked with the leaders of the Federation of Ilonggo Students (FIST) based in Iloilo that was organized by both Manila and Iloilo based student leaders. FIST was behind the huge student demonstrations in Iloilo in the summer of 1970 and until the months preceding the martial rule decreed by President Marcos on Sept. 21, 1972. From FIST’s ranks came the leaders of KM and the Samahan ng Demokratikong Kabataan (SDK), which are the more prominent student groups at that time.

As early as 1971, student activists in Iloilo have been thinking about moving to the countryside to elude arrests and politicize the peasants and the rural poor. They eyed the foothills and remote villages situated along the Madia-as Range that once was the lair of guerrillas and revolutionaries of the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (Huk or HMB).

Before the end of January, Nap and two other companions, went to Daan Sur, which is a village next to Minan, Tapaz. They started organizing the mountain villagers through periods of hunger, bouts of fatigue and attacks of leeches. They organized the Tumandok or Sulod-Bukidnon, the indigenous people of Panay that were victims of extortion by forest guards and influential people from the lowlands who cheated them on their harvest’s share. The team also organized the Tumandok’s self-defense groups against roving bandits and cattle rustlers. When the locals got sick, Nap and his team helped secure their medicines. They taught the locals how to farm efficiently and establish safe water supply. These acts earned them the trust of the residents of Daan Sur. The word spread that the Tumandok of Daan Sur were able to defend themselves from bandits and cattle thieves, thanks to the students who helped organize the village defenders. Soon there were requests for the three to organize other areas as well and they followed the same tact when organizing the neighboring villages.

Circumstance of death

Nap died when government troops, led by second lieutenant Roberto Guillergan, raided their safehouse in Lapaz, Iloilo City.

When his friends at the BARC learned about the death of Nap and his companion, they were given honors during a ritual that remembered their contribution to the history of resistance in Panay Island.

Impact of death

Nap was buried in Dueñas. His death came five months ahead of his brother, Rolly, who is also a student activist and one of the leaders of the Border Area Revolutionary Committee (BARC) in Panay. Their involvement was not well received by their families, especially his father who was a Philippine Air Force personnel.

Another sad note on the death of Nap was that he never saw his son by Roseana Thompson who was pregnant when he died. Rose was a member of Makibaka, an underground feminist organization. She went to Italy and died there of breast cancer in 2006 but her remains were brought to Iloilo.