‘Doc Ed’ Villegas dies after massive stroke

Edberto Malvar Villegas, retired University of the Philippines-Manila and De La Salle University professor, book author and Marxist political economist died Monday night, September 7, after suffering a massive stroke last Friday.

Villegas, 80, died at the Makati Medical Center at 9:56pm, sources informed Kodao.

A founding member of the Kabataang Makabayan in November 1964, Villegas was a two-year political detainee under Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law and suffered intense physical and psychological torture along with his late wife Lilia.

He was chairperson of the University of the Philippines (UP) Political-Economy Department for several years and was a board member of research group IBON Foundation at the time of his death.

He also served as secretary general of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers from 1996 to 2001.

Villegas was a doctor in public administration.

A political economy expert, Villegas was a long-time National Democratic Front of the Philippines Negotiating Panel resource person on social and economic reforms.

He authored several books on economy and imperialism, including Studies in Philippine Political Economy; Global Finance Capital and the Philippine Financial System; Political Economy of Philippine Labor Laws; Japanese Capital and Investments in Southeast Asia; A Guide to Karl Marx’s Das Kapital; Oil Imperialism in the Philippines; Japanese Capitalism and the Asian Development Bank; Global Finance Capital and the Philippine Financial System as well as many pamphlets and essays.

Villegas’ political economy books are required reading for national democratic activists.

Villegas authored the novel Sebyo and Barikada: Maikling Kuwento ng mga Pilipino. He also wrote poetry.

He edited the historical book Gen. Malvar and the Philippine Revolution, authored by Doroteo Abaya and Bernard Karganilla and published in 1998.

Villegas was a grandson of General Miguel Malvar who served as interim President of the First Philippine Republic after Emilio Aguinaldo was captured by the Americans in Palanan, Isabela in 1901.

Villegas is survived by his two children, Karl and Iona, and grandchild Miguel as well as brothers Jose and Bernardo.

Abaya said Villegas will be interned at the family mausoleum in Sto. Tomas, Batangas on September 11. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Ang Debate ng mga Pilosopo at si Pedro

Ni Ed M. Villegas

Sabi ni pilosopong Plato ang mundo ay di totoo
Balik naman ng kanyang estudyante na si Aristoteles ito ay mali
Dahil ang halaman ay tunay na halaman at ang bato ay bato
Oo nga, wika ni Epicurus, na kay Aristoteles kumampi
At diin pa nito walang ibang realidad kundi materyal na bagay
Pasok naman ni Descartes, ang batayan ng totoo ay kamalayan ko
At ang Diyos at materyal na bagay ay mapapatunayan nito
Hoy, hoy, teka, teka, singit ni Spinoza,ako at Diyos ay iisa
At dagdag pa ni Leibniz ang lahat na nangyayari ay perpekto
Biglang nagsalita si Bertrand Russell, kayong lahat ay sira ang ulo
Walang diyos, walang perpekto, at ang lahat ay nararanasan lamang ng sensa ng tao
Mali, sabi ni Wittgenstein, dating estudyante at alagad ni Bertrand,
Dahil ang diyos at pagiging perpekto ay may sariling kahulugahan sa mga karaniwang mamamayan
At huwag basta na lang babaliwalain ang kanilang mga katuwiran
Kaya, pasok ni Derida, walang makakaalam kung mayroon bang katotohanan.

Ano ba ito, sabi ni Pedro, na nakikinig sa mga pilosopo
Lalo pa ako sa kanilang sinasabi ay nalilito
Makauwi na nga sa aking pamilya at makapagpahinga
Dahil bukas dadalo pa ako sa isang malaking welga.

Lament of the Poor of my Country

By Prof. Ed M. Villegas, PhD

You only pass by to see how we live,
When elections draw near and votes are needed,
You only come to stay in our dirty place,
Because you aim to have good grades,
You only took into our sufferings to fill your paintings.

But where were you when your brothers and sisters,
Slowly wither away in hunger and despair?
Where were you when they lie dying in misery?
When our children fell into the mire of ignorance,
Enslaved by evil men for profit and pleasures?

We do not need your false sympathies and condescension,
We do not need your dole-outs to perpetuate this system,
Where the few draw their comforts from the sweat of workers, 
Where the money of the many are stolen by the parasitical rich,
And the poor, unable to find jobs, desperate to survive, are slain, Exhibited as drug addicts, criminals and enemies of the state.
Where rule rapacious moguls with heartless souls.

The day shall come when we shall rise from the gutters of the earth,
The day shall come when with minds enlightened, side by side,
We will smash the very foundations of this unjust society,
So that free, we can at last create our own destiny.