GONZALES, Vicente T., Jr.

From Pagpugay at Pahingalay (https://sites.google.com/site/pahingalay/honorees-1/vicente-pucholo-tean...)

Vicente, fondly called “Enteng” by his batchmates in PSHS Class of 1978, and “Jun” by his beloved family, was born on 16 June 1961 in Dipolog City, Zamboanga.  He spent the early schoolyears at the Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School in Dipolog City, and entered the Philippine Science High School in Diliman in 1974.  He graduated in 1978.

Enteng was recruited to the underground movement in March 1978 right after his high school graduation, and shortly before the Interim Batasang Pambansa (IBP) elections of April 7 of that year.  As early as February 1978, he was often hanging out with a group of politically like-minded students in campus, engaged in discussing political and social issues current at the time.

The Kilusang Kabataan para sa Kalayaan (KKK) chapter of PSHS was then being organized. KKK was one of the legal organizations set up by the underground movement operating in the Metro Manila-Rizal area to support the campaign of the anti-Marcos opposition led by Ninoy Aquino.  The movement was represented in the Ninoy slate by trade unionist Alex Boncayao, urban poor leader Trining Herrera and former student leader Gerry Barican.  From the open political discourses in campus, Enteng became a regular figure in more intense discussion groups and teach-ins in the secluded neighbourhood of New Manila.  In early April 1978, shortly before the IBP elections, Enteng went back home to Dipolog – for the final time coming from Metro Manila.

After the summer of 1978, Enteng attended college at the Cebu Institute of Technology where he helped organize students around various issues such as student rights, campus welfare and the Marcos dictatorship.  In 1979, the Provincial Committee of the CPP was reorganized and sectoral bureaus were formed under it.  Enteng was recruited as one of the members of the Youth and Students bureau.
In May 1980, all the safehouses maintained by the Provincial Committee were raided by the military, including the safehouse of the YS bureau.  Enteng, along with 21 other bureau members, were arrested in a series of raids conducted by the military.  They remained in detention for a year. They were defended by a battery of lawyers led by Attys. Democrito and Lourdes Barcenas, Atty Meinrado Paredes (former executive judge Cebu RTC), Atty. George Baladjay (deceased), and Atty Felixberto Rosito (retired).  In May 1981, after going on a week-long hunger strike during the visit of Pope John Paul II, the 22 were released.
After his detention in Cebu, Enteng went back home and enrolled in a college in Dipolog.  As early as the first semester back in school, his family already sensed that Enteng had returned to the underground movement.  Amidst all the indications, they braced themselves for the inevitable – that Enteng would bid them farewell to go up in arms to the mountains. 

It came as early as the semestral break.  Enteng, the eldest in a brood of seven children, first spoke to May, his eldest female sibling, and left with her a letter for their parents explaining that he had to leave to rejoin the struggle.  He was away months long at a time, the family finding solace only in receiving letters from him from time to time.  During a few occasions, he was able to sneak back home only to spend the night.  Enteng was very close to his family, especially to his sisters.  He wrote to them letters which to this day their mother keeps.

Enteng handled various tasks in the movement.  He was into peasant organizing, education, white area work, and the last was most likely as member of the urban partisan unit.
It was only in 1992 when one of his closest comrades received information that he was among the victims of the CPP Mindanao Commission’s Kampanyang Ahos or Kahos – a campaign intended to weed out military spies who have allegedly infiltrated the ranks of the CPP.  Officially, the Mindanao Commission acknowledged the killing of about 300 people in the internal purge.  Unofficially, the numbers go up to at least 900.  One research showed that as many as 1,500 to 2,000 people were murdered because of this.
Kahos and all internal purge campaigns launched by the different regional organs of the CPP were later declared by the Central Committee as “kahibangan”.  The CPP’s official document stated that, “wala ni isang napatunayan sa mga nabiktima na sila ay espiya ng militar.”  Despite this, the CPP exerted no effort whatsoever to recover the remains of the victims to find ways to bring them back and provide closure to their families.

In 2005, a couple of Enteng’s close friends joined an organization of survivors, relatives and friends of victims of the CPP’s internal purges called PATH, or Peace Advocates for Truth, Healing and Justice.  One of the principal motives of Enteng’s friends was to locate his remains and those of other comrades who became victims of these bloody acts.

In October, 2007, after successfully exhuming the remains of some victims in Cebu and Zamboanga del Sur, PATH went to Dipolog to try to locate the remains of Enteng and five other students who also came from Dipolog and likewise fell victim to Kahos.  They were able to contact Engr and Mrs Vicente Gonzales Sr, who helped gather all the families of the victims.

In November of that year, a team of forensics (led by Prof Bailen and Dr Ben Molino) went to the suspected site – a mountainous, heavily forested area in the boundary of the Sindangan and Manukan municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte.  Mindanao cadres call the place BBC, short for Big Beautiful Country.  Unfortunately, after days of digging, the remains of only one victim was recovered.  Further tests revealed that it was the remains of Dean Barrios, a neighbour of Enteng in Dipolog who was the son of a judge and a former student of the Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City.

Enteng’s case is documented to some extent in local papers both in Dipolog and in the Visayas. Provincial police as well as local government authorities were made aware of the search for his remains.  

Enteng, sometime in late 1985, at the tender age of 24, left his parents Engr Vicente R Gonzales (+), Mrs Mauricia Teaño Gonzales, and siblings Aimee, Melissa, Maripaz, Noel, Myla and Vissia.  Though almost 30 years have gone by, PATH and Enteng’s surviving comrades continue to do research to locate his remains, firm in the hope and belief that he will one day be recovered and finally laid to rest.

Birth: June 16, 1961
Place of Birth: Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte

Last seen: 1985

- write-up submitted by PSHS Batch 1978