Basa, nun who backed kin vs Corona, dies at 92
Sister Flor Maria Basa of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) who came forward in 2012 to support her niece Ana Basa’s allegations against impeached Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona died on Monday night. She was 92.
A religious for 67 years, Basa died at the FMM retirement home in Gen. Mariano Alvarez town in Cavite. Burial is at the FMM cemetery in Tagaytay City on Jan. 10 after the 9 a.m. funeral services at the retirement home.
During the 2012 impeachment trial when the media was seeking her out, Basa was already having regular medical checkups for what doctors suspected to be colon cancer. But the nun was very clear-minded, articulate and full of humor. She refused surgery and extraordinary medical intervention for her ailment.
Basa had a lengthy interview with the Inquirer, which came out in a two-part special report by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo (May 5 and 6, 2012). A short version of the story is included in Doyo’s latest book “You Can’t Interview God: Church Women and Men in the News” (Anvil, 2013).
Basa was born in Sampaloc, Manila, on Dec. 6, 1921, to Jose Maria Basa and Rosario Guidote. She was one of the four Basa siblings. An older sister, Sister Concepcion, was also a Franciscan nun. Shortly after Flor Maria’s birth, the family moved to a house on Lepanto Street (not far from the controversial Basa-Guidote property that was the subject of arguments in the impeachment trial).
The nun’s grandfather, Jose Ma. Basa Sr., was a renowned Filipino patriot who, along with national hero Jose Rizal, fought Spanish rule. Many streets have been named after him.
Basa was thrust into the limelight because of her family ties to some protagonists during the trial of Corona, who is married to her niece Cristina. Because of the pronouncements she made to uphold a party in a family problem concerning inheritance that could have a bearing on the ongoing trial, the nun became fair game for the paparazzi.
Though never summoned to the witness stand, her pronouncements corroborated other findings of the impeachment court that eventually found Corona guilty.
This nun who had quietly lived her religious vocation for more than 60 years suddenly came out to shoot down what she believed was not the truth and “spoke truth to power.”—Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
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