November 13 – MASIPAG Board Member Francis Morales (fondly called Tatay or Father Francis) passed away Wednesday night due to acute lymphocytic leukemia. An environmental activist, 63-year old Francis has tirelessly worked for environmental protection, climate justice, sustainable agriculture and peoples’ rights.
According to Mindanews, Francis has just came home from Tacloban City where he participated in a conference commemorating the first anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda. He was supposed to share the situation of the survivors of Typhoons Pablo and Sendong, but was already suffering from fever and chills.
Francis was the Executive Director of Balsa Mindanao which was formed after the succession of super-typhoons in Mindanao and was aimed to mobilize people’s networks for relief and rehabilitation, and calls for people’s disaster response and climate justice. He also served as the Advocacy Officer for the MASIPAG Mindanao regional office until 2006 where he helped in the various campaigns against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), development aggression projects such as mining and plantation and aerial spraying among others. In 2007 he was selected by the MASIPAG General Assembly as one of the NGO representatives in the Board of Trustees.
“We in MASIPAG, farmers and staff alike, are saddened by Francis’ sudden demise,” said Dr. Chito Medina, National Coordinator for MASIPAG. “His wholehearted dedication to fighting for peoples’ rights will serve as inspiration to us all.”
Francis is survived by his wife Nena Morales and daughter Raray. #