Former QC Vice Mayor Charito Planas, stalwart of the anti-Marcos dictatorship movement, dies

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File photo of then Vice Mayor Charito Planas. PHOTO COURTESY OF QC GOVERNMENT

MANILA – (UPDATE – 11:38 a.m., December 8, 2017) Former Quezon City vice mayor Rosario “Charito” L. Planas, who survived persecution under the Marcos martial law and led a campaign opposing ratification of the 1973 Constitution, passed away Thursday morning at the age of 87, QC Mayor Herbert M. Bautista said.

“It is with a heavy heart that in behalf of the people of Quezon City, I announce the passing of our dear former vice mayor, Charito Planas,” Bautista said in a statement.

“Vice Mayor Planas was our loving mentor, tita, leader and friend. Vice Mayor Planas only had the best interest of the city and nation in mind in all her endeavors as a city official and freedom fighter during the dark days of our nation’s history.”

Vice Mayor Planas’ last public appearance was during Mayor Bautista’s 8th State of the City Address in October.

Charito Planas, wheelchair-bound in one of her last public appearances. PHOTO COURTESY OF QC GOVERNMENT

A necrological service will be held in her honor on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 9 AM at the Carlos Albert Hall, Quezon City Hall.

Planas was born April 28, 1931 in Tondo, Manila. Her sister, Carmen Planas, was the first woman city councilor of Manila.

Charito Planas was a staunch opposition leader and led the campaign against the ratification of the 1973 Constitution. She was among the opposition leaders arrested after the declaration of Martial Law in 1972, according to a brief provided by QC Hall.

Planas was drafted in the Lakas ng Bayan slate led by former senator Ninoy Aquino in the 1978 interim Batasan elections. She slipped out of the country after the elections to join the anti-Marcos forces in the US.

She returned to the country after the 1986 People Power revolution and helped revive the Liberal Party. She ran for Mayor in the 1988 elections and lost to then incumbent officer-in-charge, Brigido “Jun” Simon Jr. In the 1992 elections, she became the running mate of then congressman Ismael Mathay Jr. who won the mayoral race.

Planas served as Quezon City vice mayor from 1992 to 1995. She served as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s spokesperson with the rank of Undersecretary in the Office of the President in 2010-2011.

The LP, in a statement released Friday, December 8, mourned Planas’ passing and hailed her as “a great Partido Liberal stalwart who embodied liberal values in her political career.”

“She was a champion of democracy, fighting against the tyranny of the Marcos regime and helping shape what is now the colorful and thriving Quezon City. She spent her life in public service, a vocation she saw through until the final years of her work,” it said.

“Hers is a story of love for country and freedom. Her legacy lives on in us who remember and strive to continue the fight she and her many contemporaries once fought and won nearly 40 years ago,” the LP added.