LAGMAN, Hermon C.

From Bantayog ng mga Bayani (

Hermon Lagman came very early into his activism. He was student council president and school paper editor in high school, joining rallies even then, which lost him the chance to be valedictorian upon graduation.

In college, he was associate and managing editor of the Philippine Collegian and president of the political science club.

When he became a lawyer, he chose to become a labor lawyer, offering his services free especially to laborers pursuing cases of illegal layoffs. He joined the Citizens’ Legal Aid Society in the Philippines. After martial law was imposed, he co-founded the Free Legal Aid Group (FLAG).

Hermon showed a deep and abiding commitment to the causes he espoused, and a fearlessness in living such a commitment that was not easily evident because he had a gentle face and calm manner.

He was among the lawyers arrested after the declaration of martial law. He was kept in prison for two months without charges. From detention, he wrote to his mother Cecilia:

“At sunrise today, while standing idly in the morning cold, I saw two sparrows perched together … (They) looked at us human beings here, and I looked at them. They seemed to have more understanding than some men … At noon today, two clients came … They cried .. They will be calling the house for the schedule of their cases … I always dream here of all of you. We have a surfeit of energy for dreams.”

He was arrested again in 1976 but released the same day. At this time, labor groups have grown increasingly militant, staging pickets and strikes, and angering the martial law authorities. Hermon was legal counsel for many of these labor groups.

On May 11, 1977, Hermon and his associate Victor Reyes were on the way to a meeting when they were abducted. Someone who refused to identify himself called Hermon’s mother to inform her of the abduction. Since then, the family has continued to look for Hermon and his companion but they have not been found. Hermon was 32 when he disappeared.

February 12, 1945
Place of Birth: 
Tabaco, Albay
May 11, 1977
Place of Disappearance: 
Bago Bantay, Quezon City

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