Activist Renato Constantino Jr. dies at 79

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Activist Renato Constantino Jr. dies at 79

Renato 'RC' Constantino Jr.

Constantino Foundation Facebook

Like his father, the late nationalist historian Renato Constantino, RC was an activist most of his adult life, including campaigning against the US military bases treaty which the Philippine Senate rejected in 1991

MANILA, Philippines – Activist Renato “RC” Constantino Jr. died on Thursday, April 4. He was 79. 

The Constantino family announced his demise on the Facebook page of Constantino Foundation, a nonprofit that honors the legacies of RC’s parents, the late Filipino nationalist historians and writers Renato Constantino and Letizia R. Constantino. Renato authored history books, among them, The Philippines: A Past Revisited, and its sequel, The Philippines: The Continuing Past, which he co-authored with Letizia.

“With great sadness, we announce the passing of Renato Constantino Jr. – ‘RC’ to family and friends. We mourn the unbearable loss even as we celebrate a life fully lived,” the post reads.

His wake will be from Monday, April 8, to Wednesday, April 1,0 at 38 Panay Avenue, Quezon City from 10 am to 10 pm. 

Sympathies and condolences poured in for RC on the Constantino Foundation post.

When Martial Law was declared in September 1972, authorities sought to arrest the elder Renato, but RC offered himself instead since the warrant did not say whether it was for Sr. or Jr., recalled RC’s brother-in-law, UP professor emeritus Randy David, in his Inquirer column in September 2019. RC would later be released while his father was placed under indefinite house arrest.  

RC was an activist during the Martial Law years, and continued his cause-oriented activities and advocacies post-EDSA Revolution, particularly in the campaign that led to the Senate’s rejection of a new Philippines-US military bases treaty in September 1991. American forces left the country the following year.

RC was elder brother to the late Karina Constantino-David, who served in various capacities in government (social welfare undersecretary, housing secretary, Civil Service Commission chair) until her death on May 7, 2019 at 73. 

Unlike his sister, RC preferred to work in the background, giving advice to various organizations and politicians. He served as vice-chair of former President Joseph Estrada’s campaign team in the latter’s failed presidential bid in the 2010 elections.

RC’s daughter is journalist Karmina Constantino-Torres, an anchor of the ABS-CBN News Channel or ANC. Karmina posted about her father’s death on X (formerly Twitter).

Karmina last posted a family photo with her parents on February 14, 2024 on her Instagram account. 

RC’s son, Renato Redentor or Red, is an environmentalist who was the former executive director of the think-tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. –

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