PRUDENTE, Dr. Nemesio

From The Inquirer (

NEMESIO PRUDENTE, the former president of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and human rights advocate, died early Friday, March 28, in a hospital in Cavite, Philippines. He was 81.

One of the more prominent political prisoners of the martial law regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Prudente died followng almost a month of confinement related to a prostate operation that resulted in complications, according to a report published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Prudente's remains were cremated at 3 p.m. Friday at the Loyola Memorial Park in Paranaque, Rizal, in accordance to his request that he be cremated within 24 hours of his death.

“Dad did not want a wake, and he wanted his cremation to be very private,” Felice Sta. Maria, Prudente's daughter wrote The Philippine Reporter 's editors, in a touching note describing her family's efforts to abide by her father's humble wishes.

“Wrap me in a banig (woven mat),” was what he had wished, and in the end, Sta. Maria said, her father was cremated in a simple cardboard box and a white shroud in lieu of the banig , “He wanted the humblest end,” Sta. Maria said.

Humble as he was, Prudente was a hero to many, hailed a “nationalist and visionary” by current PUP president Samuel Salvador, for the former's role as PUP president from 1962 to 1972.

Prudente was detained by the Marcos dictatorship for his opposition to martial law then freed from prison and re-installed as PUP president during President Corazon Aquino's term.

Prudente survived two attempts on his life, both arising from his condemnation of the continuing human rights abuses.