Karapatan’s tribute to Bishop Julio Xavier Labayen

As he is laid to rest today, Karapatan conveys its highest esteem and tribute to His Excellency Most Reverend Julio Xavier Labayen, OCD and Prelate Emeritus of Infanta, who passed away in the morning of April 27, 2016 at the age of 89.

Bishop Labayen had lived a meaningful life in the service of the poor and the oppressed.  He had carried out well the Church’s maxim of “Church of the poor for the poor”.  As the first Director of the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA), he established social action centers all over the country that helped empower the masses, especially in the dark days of martial law.

Bishop Labayen was a firm advocate  of human rights and justice, freedom and liberation. We thank him for his unwavering defense of human rights and justice from the Marcos dictatorship to the Arroyo administration. Under the Marcos dictatorship, he valiantly stood up against against martial law, together with other bishops who came to be known as the Magnificent 7 Bishops.

His life of service for the poor and downtrodden in Philippine society inspired many churchpeople and the laity in building the church of the poor and in the struggle for a just and humane society. His life is indeed a guiding example and inspiration to all the poor and oppressed whom he loved so much.   ###