‘People’s lawyer’ interredBy Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Human rights lawyer Romeo “Ka Romy” Capulong was laid to rest on Saturday morning by hundreds of those whose lives he had touched.
Capulong, who died on Sept. 16 at the age of 77, was interred at Everest Hills Memorial Park, Susana Heights, Muntinlupa City, following an ecumenical service on the University of the Philippines Diliman campus.
A convoy of more than 50 vehicles trailed Capulong’s hearse. A bus carried his family.
Some mourners wore white shirts on which were printed
Capulong’s smiling face and the legend: “People’s lawyer and true Filipino patriot.”
Outside the cemetery, a small group of militants from Southern Tagalog with their faces covered staged a lighting rally as their way of paying their respects. They were reportedly members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front.
They carried a banner with Capulong’s face and the words: “Dakilang abogado ng bayan, dakilang rebolusyonaryo (Great lawyer of the nation, great revolutionary).”
In the cemetery, white balloons and white butterflies were released as white roses were tossed into the casket as it was being lowered into the ground. Those outside the cemetery released red balloons.
National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) secretary general Edre Olalia summed up the ceremony: “It was simple, nothing fancy. As befits the man.”
He noted that most of the 300 or so mourners had been Capulong’s clients. Aside from members of the NUPL and the Public Interest Law Center (PILC), two organizations closest to Capulong’s heart, also in attendance were other activist groups and political personages. “It was a mixed crowd, of all the lives he touched,” Olalia said.
Capulong headed both the NUPL and PILC. He was a staunch defender of human rights, especially those of the poor victims of the martial law regime of President Ferdinand Marcos.