Rekindling the Fire: A Forum on the Life and Works of Raul Sevilla Manglapus

On the Occasion of the 90th Year of His Birth

In cooperation with the Centrist Policy Institute and the Ateneo School of Government, the forum seeks to reflect back on the life of Filipino Statesman Raul S. Manglapus.---


Prominent politicians, civil society groups, and students gathered together for a forum last December 2008 on the life and works of the late Senator Raul Sevilla Manglapus, who would have turned 90 years old last October 21, had he been alive today.

Manglapus, who founded the Christian Democratic Socialist Movement in the 60s and the political party of National Union of Christian Democrats (NUCD, now LAKAS-CMD) in the 1960s, was considered one of the greatest statesmen in the history of Philippine politics. The late senator served the Philippines as Secretary of Foreign Affairs in 1957, as a Senator from 1961 to 1967, and later again as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Aquino administration. He often stood for social justice and reforms and is commonly touted as “...the greatest president (the Philippines) never had,” and served as an inspiration to many during his generation.

A political opponent of the late former president Ferdinand Marcos, Manglapus stayed in exile from 1972-1986 in the United States of America. Since 1967, Manglapus has been working together with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in areas of political reform. He died in 1999.

Speaking to friends, fellow contemporaries of Manglapus, and to young students, the forum tackled the late Senator’s works and his campaign for social justice and reform in the country. The current generation of students are now too young to remember who Raul Manglapus was, according to panelist and former Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Joe Concepcion, who further expressed his delight at being able to “bring Raul Manglapus back to the youth consciousness.”

Among those invited to share their experiences with Manglapus were Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., former Sen. Jun Magsaysay, former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, Jr., former Department of Transportation and Communications secretary Amado Lagdameo, former Department of Trade and Industry secretary Joe Concepcion, Chairman of Presidential Commission on Good Governance Camilo Sabio, former National Security Adviser Gen. Jose T. Almonte, and Dr. Federico Macaranas.

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Escaler Hall, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City


Klaus Preschle