MOLINTAS, Wright Jr.


AN IBALOI scion who joined the New People’s Army (NPA) in his teens and “martyred” six years later, is among the 14 “New Heroes” to be enshrined on Wednesday (November 30, National Heroes Day) at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani.

Wright M. Molintas Jr., who took the nom de guerre “Ka Chadli”, a scion of two Ibaloi political clans in Benguet, will be honored in the “Wall of Remembrance” this year with 13 others during the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation’s “Annual Celebration of Martyrs and Heroes” from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., inside the Bantayog grounds.

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation undertakes the ceremony every year for individuals who have given their lives in the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship.

The Bantayog Wall has 193 names at present.

Joining Molintas Jr. are Davao activist Edwin Laguerder who like Molintas Jr. were Marcos-time political activists from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and Norberto Acebedo Jr.; Amada Alvarez; Marsman Alvarez; Monico Atienza; Silme Domingo; Rolando Federes; Ceferino Flores Jr.; Ruben Lunas; Joji Paduano; Rosalina Galang Reyes; Dr. Arturo Taca; and Gene Viernes.

To date, Molintas Jr. is the second Benguet Ibaloi to be named “Hero” in the Bantayog after young Baguio activist Jennifer Cariño was earlier enshrined in the “Wall of Remembrance.”

Three other Cordillerans – Kalinga chieftain Macliing Dulag from Tinglayan; Pedro Dungoc, also from Tinglayan, Kalinga; and human rights defender Arthur Galace – were enshrined in the same statue.

Among the most prominent honorees at the Bantayog include Senator Benigno Aquino II and former President Corazon Aquino, Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, film director Catalino Brocka, journalist Jose Burgoz Jr., Governor Cesal Climaco, historian Renato Constantino, activist nun Mariani Dimaranan; Senator Jose Diokno, Italian priest activist Tullio Favali, activist legislator Bonifacio Gillego, Governor Evelio Javier, activist Edgar Jopson, Dean Armando Malay and his wife Paula Carolina, Senator Raul Manglapus, Justice Jose Reyes, Dr. Nemesio Prudente, Senator Lorenzo Tañada and Justice Claudio Teehankee.

“It is really an honor for us (the family) to have Chadli in there,” said Chadli’s brother, former Baguio City councilor and lawyer Jose Mencio Molintas, a UN expert on Indigenous Peoples Mechanisms and a known social activist.

His example of selfless service and “offering his life so that others may live” is worthy of emulation even in everyday life and the social realities today, added Molintas. “The youth should learn from his and the heroes example of love of country and devotion to democracy.”

Leaving a supposedly promising career after graduating from his Geodetic Engineering scholarship at University of the Philippines-Diliman, Chadli joined the NPA in Kalinga province in 1981.

He went on to “climb” perhaps one of the highest echelons in the underground movement in Northern Luzon until he was slain in a supposed encounter with government troopers in La Union in July 9, 1987.

The NDF-allied Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front has also enshrined Ka Chadli as “a Hero of the Cordillera Peoples” and has in fact named the New Peoples Army’s Regional Operational Command (ROC) in the Cordillera region after him.

Chadli, a soft-spoken but jolly and witty charmer, was a by-word all over the provinces he went while with the NPA, said a former comrade.

From Bantayog ng mga Bayani (

July 09, 1987
Place of Death: 
La Union