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Edicio G. De La Torre

Edicio G. De La Torre

Vice-Chairperson, PRRM

From Ed’s Blogsite www.ediciodelatorre.com

Life Story/Kwentong Buhay.

Ordained a Catholic priest in 1968. Inspired by the nationalist spirit, I wanted to write a book on Filipino theology. In the process, I ended up “doing theology.” Worked with farmers fighting for land reform. Mobilised students and church people to join the struggle for social justice. Took part in an ecumenical project of community organising in urban poor areas, adapting Saul Alinsky’s methods.

In the political turmoil after the First Quarter Storm, was engaged in a “dialogue of life” among reform-oriented Christians and radical movement activists. The imposition of martial law in 1972 hastened our radicalisation process. Many of us joined the outlawed National Democratic Front.

Wasn’t very good at underground resistance, though. Was captured twice, and spent 9 years in various prisons. I could write a comparative study of prison architecture.

After EDSA 1986, promoted “popular democracy” to broaden and deepen the democratic space that had opened up.

In late 1987, because of extra-judicial killings that targeted former prisoners and activists, I could not return home from a trip to Denmark. Stayed in Europe, to work with Filipino migrant communities and Philippine solidarity groups. Exchanged learnings with other liberation movements.

Returned home in 1992. Helped start ELF, the Education for Life Foundation. We sought to train a new generation of grassroots leaders in their needed shift from the politics of resistance to the politics of participation. ELF combines the folkehojskole ideas of Grundtvig with those of Paolo Freire, and Sikolohiyang Pilipino with Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.

Accepted the challenge in 1998 to serve as Director General of TESDA, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. “Punisment for my sins,” I tell friends. But a valuable learning experience on the possibilities and limits of national governance.

Rejoined the “sovereign citizenry” in 2001. I pursue my passion to be an educator, especially of grassroots community leaders, and contribute to the empowerment of grassroots communities.

In addition to being an educator, I want to be an “evangelist” of our continuing struggle for justice. Despite our litany of woes as a people and country, there are many stories that inspire and instruct.

I want to tell those stories.

Source: http://www.ediciodelatorre.com/about-2/ (retrieved on 06 September 2015).


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