Former Quezon City vice-mayor, freedom fighter Charito Planas, 87

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Rosario “Charito” L. Planas

FORMER QUEZON CITY vice-mayor Rosario “Charito” L. Planas, who survived persecution under the Marcos dictatorship and led a campaign opposing ratification of the 1973 Constitution, passed away Thursday morning at the age of 87, Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista said.

“It is with a heavy heart that on behalf of the people of Quezon City, I announce the passing of our dear former vice-mayor, Charito Planas,” Mr. Bautista said in a statement.

The mayor described Ms. Planas as “our loving mentor, tita (aunt), leader and friend (who) only had the best interest of the city and nation in mind in all her endeavors….”

Ms. Planas’s last public appearance was during Mr. Bautista’s 8th State of the City Address in October.

A necrological service will be held in her honor on Friday, Dec. 8, 9:00 a.m., at the Carlos Albert Hall, Quezon City Hall.

Ms. Planas was born April 28, 1931, in Tondo, Manila. Her sister, Carmen Planas, was the first woman city councilor of Manila.

Ms. Planas was a staunch opposition leader and led the campaign against the ratification of the 1973 Constitution or what was derisively called then the Marcos Constitution. She was among the opposition leaders arrested after the declaration of martial law in 1972, according to a brief provided by Quezon City Hall.

Ms. Planas was drafted in the Laban (Lakas ng Bayan) slate led by Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., in the 1978 interim Batasan elections. She slipped out of the country after the elections to join the anti-Marcos forces in the US.

She returned to the country after the 1986 People Power Revolution and helped revive the Liberal Party. She ran for mayor in the 1988 elections but lost to then incumbent officer-in-charge, Brigido “Jun” Simon, Jr. In the 1992 elections, she became the running mate of then congressman Ismael Mathay, Jr. who won the mayoral race.

Ms. Planas served as Quezon City vice-mayor from 1992 to 1995. She later served as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s spokesperson with the rank of Undersecretary in the Office of the President. — News5-InterAksyon