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Roberto Verzola

Roberto Verzola

1952 - May 6th, 2020

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Name Roberto Verzola
Date of Birth 1952
Date of Death May 6th, 2020
Interests System of Rice Intensification, Renewable Energy, Society, Ecology and Transformation, Electoral Reform, Information Technology

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https://www.facebook.com/greenpeaceph/videos/641061459809765/

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Ipat published a comment .

Ito po ang video ng parangal kay Obet ng Philippine Greens.

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Pamela published a tribute .

Obet Verzola is a rare, beautiful, wise and fully developed human being. He is very unassuming, humble and placid. His love for country is deep and his work for the country, far and wide. He is driven to serve the greater whole. He survived multiple and, I heard, severe Martial law tortures. But his spirit remained intact and strong.
I met Obet in the late 80’s. He was a quiet activist. I was magnetized to his person and wisdom. He spoke clearly and holistically of issues that we were fighting for or against. That time it was sustainable development, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and Farmers’ Rights on one hand, and industrialization, intellectual property rights, GATT (now WTO) on the other. One thing that I always carried in my pocket through the decades and shared avidly with my students was the idea that “Agriculture economy” is the way to go (as it is still or largely nature-based) and least destructive, compared to “Industrial economy” which is highly extractive, polluting and oppressive. But the worst, dehumanizing and most destructive was “Information economy”.
He was the country’s first IT guy, I learned, but did not push for patent or monopoly. He advocated free access to computer programs, in the same way seeds should be. He told me one time that my article on “Indigenous seed practices for sustainable agriculture”, which was published in IK Development Monitor based in the Netherlands, was the first scientific or academic paper in the country that was internationally published on-line (or something like that). Now it is clearer to me how it happened.
Obet became a member of PABINHI, a farmers-scientists group advocating advancement in scientific research and development with farmers as the leaders, doing genetic conservation, organic breeding, seed and crop technologies, and exploring practices in alignment with the new science- called “quantum” or more formally, “post-materialist science”. I was happy that they (he and wife Flor) readily embraced and practiced Agnihotra, which is a quantum approach in agriculture and healing. Obet was the torch bearer of SRI or the System of Rice Intensification in the Philippines. This was our weapon against chemicalized, genetically engineered approach in rice production, surpassing the yield easily by 3-5 times the usual, without the needed chemicals and hybrids, but through understanding the true nature of the rice plant.
In the 1990’s during the anti-GMO campaign Obet was the community representative in the National Committee on Biosafety in the Philippines (NCBP). So apt, because he had a great scientific mind and was a systems thinker, as well as a real farmer, an NGO, and is much aware of political, technological, societal and environmental issues. One time after my attendance to an NCBP meeting to give some testimony surrounding Bt corn testing, he shared with me how their deliberations after such event went, which gave me a concrete idea on how deep, grave and complex the issue is. Sepration of science, politics and business is not fully working in that mechanism.
Obet was the “last man standing” in a one-month hunger strike in front of the Department of Agriculture, for a campaign against Bt corn testing in the country. My realization then was that no amount of scientific evidence against GMOs can one change the mind of a non-believer, sadly exemplified by a Department of Agriculture secretary.
We have not communicated much since early 2000. He had so many other involvements. But late last year, we were together in an Inner Conditioning workshop facilitated by Nick Perlas, and organized by ESSA (“Ecosystem of Stakeholders for Sustainable Agriculture). I was surprised that he was walking with a cane (due to some spinal and abdominal issues, he explained). His participation in the event, however, was very enriching. I know that he had a solid scientific mind, but did not realize that he was much into the new science (post-materialist science), which is also my passion. In that workshop, he mentioned some books and concepts that are in alignment with our discussion. Just today (a day after he passed on) I visited his website for the first time (I did not know of its existence until today) and I am wowed with the variety and depth of topics he had written. A good portion of his articles is on spirituality and spirit science. He believes in a Grand Omnipotent designer and had written about this topic in his website https://rverzola.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/is-there-a-grand-omnipotent-designer/. (If interested, one may find a pdf copy of his presentation on the same subject here https://rverzola.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/book-club-report-23-feb-2019-v3.pdf) . Obet also subscribes to the idea that there can be other universes that are similar, but ours is special. He believes in the concept that consciousness creates matter, and in the existence of “morphogenetic field” or matrix, which is the basic fabric of the universe.
Indeed, Obet had seeded the earth with his very being, his talents, ideas, and works. Thanks, Obet, for your opus. We pray for your good journey back to Light, to Source. You are much cherished, and your legacy will be live on.
Pam Fernandez (Professor, UPLB; Member, PABINHI Pilipinas)

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Renato Redentor Constantino published a tribute .

As we step through the portal created by the pandemic, connecting us to an array of potential new worlds, some of which are nasty and brutish and others gentle and just, it is troubling to realize we will not have the likes of Roberto “Obet” Verzola around to guide us through this uncertain period. Obet passed away peacefully early evening yesterday from complications arising from surgery. He was 67.

Obet, as he is known to friends, was not just an ideal Filipino for many. To those who knew him, Obet was an ideal human who lived a life of integrity, one that reflected perfectly his political convictions.

Obet had an unshakable commitment to help bring about a gentler world where people can live with nature as part of it and not apart from the environment. He harnessed technology but always with care; he was never swayed by the false promises of purveyors who saw particularly in information technology the means for a few to further concentrate wealth and to secure control over the lives of the majority. Obet was active on several fronts, spanning electoral reform, intellectual property rights, agriculture and genetic engineering, and renewable energy.

Obet was always hopeful but never deluded. He was gentle beyond all measure and stubborn to a fault, and his quiet bearing always conveyed a character that eludes so many so-called leaders today, one that is defined by dignity and a healthy respect for life’s intrinsic complexities. Throughout his storied and accomplished life, Obet pursued and maintained a profound embrace of simplicity that few of us will ever in our lifetimes attain.

For over a decade Obet was part of the Constantino Foundation‘s Bulletin Board, working closely with its founder, the late Letizia Roxas Constantino, and other intellectuals from different backgrounds and political persuasions. The Foundation published his provocative book Towards a Political Economy of Information.

Overlooked often for the elegantly simplified presentation and discussion of complex issues of the day, for two decades the Bulletin Board produced small poster-sized issues propagated and mailed to tens of thousands at the initiative’s height throughout the archipelago, beginning in the late 80s. Affectionately known as BBs, the materials were posted regularly by countless BB volunteers on sari-sari stores, office water stations, work place meeting areas, schools, farms, and business establishments by tricycle drivers, laborers, clerks, teachers, vendors, mothers, students, activists, and government officials. Run before the age of the internet, the BBs’ aim was not just to ignite debate but to encourage greater public participation in the nation’s affairs. To a large extent, the efforts of Obet and others in the BB team succeeded.

Obet was a valued leader in the BB, and his sharp mind allowed the dissection of extremely complicated issues ranging from economics to climate change to food, the environment, world trade, gender, and human rights. Obet did not only live a simple life; he helped simplify the necessity of public involvement for others, understanding that an informed population is an essential means to encouraging and empowering genuine participation by the public in shaping their nation’s future.

That he is referred to as the father of Philippine email, or as a founder of strategies in agriculture that could increase farmer productivity without irreparably injuring ecosystems — these are things Obet would have laughed at. Because he never asked for any accolades. It was always enough for Obet to have the opportunity to contribute his ideas and to have the space, some space, any space however small, to test his ideas and to see them to their fruition.

He was also a pioneering student activist from the Philippine Science High School and the University of the Philippines. He was tortured brutally during the Marcos dictatorship but while he always fought to advance the cause of human rights, he was never vindictive or shrill in the way he articulated justice, which he never asked for himself.

Of his enduring legacies, one that Obet should be remembered by will be the wisdom in which he framed the multiple challenges faced by the still fractious, diverse social forces fighting for change today amidst the plethora of social illnesses brought about by rank inequality: once we begin to understand that many of us are running on several race tracks, we will also realize that there is little need to elbow one another or to pull one away towards another track. Those fighting for justice and striving to keep alive the memory of the dark days of martial rule so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past; those struggling to protect poor communities from the plunderers and predators of today — they are not competing with others fighting against the onset of dangerous climate change, or those fighting to protect ecosystems for the long-term, and those pushing the cause of an early transition to a sustainably powered economy.

Our objectives do not clash, Obet counselled. It’s just that some are in a sprint race while others are in a marathon and we must learn in the process to run together so we can run better and together reach our desired destinations sooner.

Obet passed away too early, which he might find humorous considering that many of his friends would have told him numerous times that he was a visionary and seemed to always be one step ahead of most in looking at elements needed to build a new and gentler future.

Obet was an ideal human being and he would be terribly disappointed if all we can do now is grieve, and extol the qualities that made him a beautiful person, instead of trying to imbibe them in order to help get others to provide the very thing our country today lacks: countless Filipinos acting out of love for their country with humility and a deep, abiding sense of selfless citizenship.

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

from Joma Sison
HONORING ROBERTO VERZOLA
By Jose Maria Sison and Julie de Lima
May 7, 2020

Julie and I wish to express our condolences to the family and close friends of Roberto “Obet” Verzola. We are all saddened by his passing away but we are all consoled by his achievements in the service of the people. This is a moment to appreciate, honor and thank Obet for his contributions to the progress of the nation.

In his student years, he was an effective writer and activist committed to the people’s cause and struggle for national liberation and democracy. He courageously stood for national and democratic rights when he vigorously opposed the Marcos fascist dictatorship. For defending the people, he became a political prisoner for three years, 1974 to 1977.

He used his intellect, his militancy and professional training as a mathematician and engineer to help bring about the progress of his nation. He worked closely with patriotic and progressive organizations and movements on major issues, including nuclear power, intellectual property rights, information technology, genetic engineering, environmental issues, farming methods, and election automation.

He was the pioneer in promoting the use of the email, ran an email service for NGOs for almost a decade (1992-2000) and got an industry award as “father of Philippine email”. He co-founded the Philippine Greens, Tanggol Kalikasan, Center for Renewable Energy, Sustainable Technologies, and Systems for Rice Technologies.

He worked with environmental and farmers' groups, coordinated the rice farming network SRI-Pilipinas and the Philippine election watchdog Halalang Marangal, partiicipated in the international CopySouth Research Group. He wrote the books, Crossing Over: The Energy Transition to Renewable Energy and Towards a Political Economy of Information. He taught at the UP Diliman Institute of Mathematics and kept in touch with the youth.

In this message of ours, we reflect the recognition and honor publicly accorded to Obet by his peers and all those who admire him. But we are sure that Obet has achieved in life far more than we can reiterate here. He has plenty of comrades, friends, professional colleagues and relatives who can tell us more about his life and deeds as a person and public figure.

In sum, the personal conduct and public achievements of Roberto are exemplary and inspiring to the people. He tried his best to help create a new and better world. We now honor him for having lived a meaningful and creative life and for leaving us a legacy that we can benefit from and carry forward.###
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10221689161408969&set=a.3866168663362&type=3&theater

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Cecile Guidote Alvarez / Earthsavers published a comment .

shocked and saddened OBET IS GONE , A KINDRED SPIRIT OF Sonny .. athey had so many plans on promoting solar energy.. condolence to his family i grieve with them .. condolence and prayers . sonny and Obet will have a happy reunion in heaven. Obet is a patriot with his brilliant mind and caring heart.. whence come another..?

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Al Alegre published a tribute .

A tribute to Roberto ‘Obet” Verzola, written by Nina Somera, a member of FMA’s Board of Trustees.


https://www.fma.ph/2020/05/09/the-one-and-only-obet/

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Al Alegre published a tribute .

(posted on FB, May 7 at 12:14 PM)

Am still devastated about the news that ROBERTO "OBET" VERZOLA had passed away last night after complications from surgery (non-COVID related as far as is known) at age 67.

Obet Verzola—Marcos Martial law warrior/detainee and torture victim, engineer of appropriate technologies, PH ICT pioneer in the social use of the internet, sustainable agriculture activist, and most recently an advocate for local, small-scale renewable energy solutions to combat the climate crisis...

We worked a lot together when I was still ED of the Foundation for Media Alternatives developing our internet rights advocacy... he was a true internet pioneer, as a member of the global Association for Progressive Communications (apc.org, which FMA later joined) in nonprofit ISP work, providing free email accounts on gn.apc.org to NGOs in the early '90s. (He also would become a strategic critic of what the Internet eventually evolved into, a playground of big capitalist "cyberlords"...)

During the 20th anniversary year of the Philippine Internet in 2014, FMA honored Obet (and one other--female--pioneer, Merl Opena) with our first (and only, thus far) Internet Freedom Awards, during Human Rights week... I used to visit him occasionally in his modest apartment near V. Luna, and bumped into him a number of times at our common fave place: Booksale!

Obet was a maverick (without trying to be one) and a true original. Always ahead of his time, with an imagination that was overflowing with new paradigms which shaped strategic interventions that always pushed boundaries.

A simple and gentle man, with a sharp mind, a kind heart, excellent technical skills, and a steadfast moral compass—we lost a great Filipino today.

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

https://www.bworldonline.com/roberto-obet-verzola-the-known-and-the-unknown/?fbclid=IwAR3FHsLWcKw4HKEQJqeDThqdW79XpOSpHknX7cdffosxCYaxzLV4dLEDzCA

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Ian Peter published a tribute .

Obet, you were such an inspiration to others in the pioneering stages of email and internet availability around the world. From when we first met in 1987 I was impressed with your dedication to social justice, your wisdom, and your perserverance . Your life is a beautiful example to many, a shining light in a world of darkness. The whole world benefitted from your work. Ian Peter, Australia

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Avis published a tribute .

Dear Obet, May your Soul rest in peace.
I just heard from my APC colleagues your amazing works during your life time in this world, without ever met you.
Please dear Obet, may your flame light our ways.

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Cecille Verzola Macale published a tribute .

https://www.facebook.com/notes/mel-cards/kuya-obet-crossing-over/2928478207188234/

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

https://www.rappler.com/nation/260157-roberto-verzola-father-philippine-email-dies-may-2020

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Jay S. Lim published a comment .

Kelan man ay di kukupas ang kagitingan at kabunyiang iniukit mo sa kasaysayan.

Salamat ng marami sa mga ibinahagi mong kaalaman at inspirasyon!

Paalam Ka Obet!

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Aurora De Dios published a comment .

Our boy genius is gone! Kakaiba na si Obet nuon pa man magkasama kami bago magmartial law . He was such an earnest intelligent guy with a smile in his face always! Years after his son went to the office to teach us about how to use the email. We all treasure Obet's gift to the movement his intelligence expertise of science , technology and environmental issues and his commitment to truth and justice ! So humble and down to earth! Condolence to the Verzola family! He will be in our prayers!

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Mel Cardenas published a tribute .

I'd like to share something I wrote for Kuya Obet. Hope more of us become his padawans. Because Jedi don't die, they just cross over.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/mel-cards/kuya-obet-crossing-over/2928478207188234/

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Anna Maria Gonzales published a tribute .

Thank you, Obet!
Can you remember your first email address? Mine came courtesy of Obet Verzola, one of the smartest people I've ever known.

Before Windows came into being and around the time a good number of my current friends and workmates were born (late 80s and early 90s), Obet connected our office to the world wide web through our email addresses using @phil.gn.apc.org.

That time the internet was unheard of and the computer was not a household item yet. I'm not even sure if mobile phones at least as we know it already existed at the time! (Well, I think it was in 1991 when I first saw one with a heavy lunchbox size attachment serving as battery). There was this lanky Filipino engineer, a Pisay grad , who opened a whole new world for me and my colleagues. I think we were one of the first few who had email addresses in the Philippines and we used it mainly to communicate inexpensively with our partners from Europe and Canada. Yahoo, Gmail were then just a glimmer in their founders' eyes. (And yes before Yahoo and Hotmail, there was Edsamail. )

I would later find out that Obet wasn't simply a geek stuck in the world of bits and bytes. He was a staunch environmentalist who thought tech should be in the service of society and environment. If I remember correctly, he was one of the first to chat with me about climate change and sent me materials on sustainable development. He was "well-connected" and had access to new information even before the academe got them. He introduced the idea of a database to us and made accounting so much easier for our NGO. . If we had a Silicon Valley that time, he could've gotten rich but he chose to serve the IT needs of non-profits, feminists and environmentalists.

It was only much later that I would find out that he was imprisoned and tortured by the military regime of Ferdinand Marcos. I am glad his spirit wasn't broken by that cruel time.

I haven't really seen Obet in a long time, so it truly breaks my heart to hear that he has left the planet and is now part of the ether. Thank you Obet Verzola, for opening us up to a whole new consciousness. Beam us up, in time.

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Ana Maria R. Nemenzo published a tribute .

We grieve with Obet's family and May, even as we hope he can now rest from all pains and finally find comfort and peace. We remember all the innovative things he introduced and taught us in the social movements, his generosity in sharing his knowledge of science and skills, his passion for human rights, social and ecological justice, endowed with a brilliant mind yet he lived a life of simplicity, a compassionate human being. I will always remember him with affection, my student in high school, my mentor in later years.

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Wilson Fortaleza published a tribute .

https://www.facebook.com/1107711491/posts/10217748003787652/?d=n

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Aida Santos Maranan published a tribute .

You are a genius way ahead of your time . You taught me how the email works. You endured so much pain, yet gave a lot to all. We miss you tremendously.
-Aida Santos Maranan

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René Abad published a tribute .

Obet is the pioneer of Capable Low Cost IT solutions. A model that can be used in other sectors of our society. Not the globalized, expensive, easy to do, imported, copied ones. He was a humble but a very effective changemaker. Those that he influenced will continue his work.

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Judy A. Pasimio published a tribute .

Kahit walang burol, hindi mapipigil ang mga parangal sa isang kasamang pumanaw, si Roberto Verzola. Iba-ibang henerasyon ang nakasalumuha ni Obet, kaya iba't iba rin ang mga kwento, at ala-ala na kasama sya. Sa akin, nene pa ako, sya ang nag-introduce sa akin, at sa buong LRC ng email - mozcom.ph. green pa ang monitor non, word star, at dot matrix ang printer. iisa lang ang email account ng buong LRC. at kung di ako nagkakamali, sa buong PSSC building, sa lahat ng NGO dun, sya ang internet provider. sa lahat ata ng mga NGOs! naalala ko may nangyari sa isang NGO sa 2nd floor, na-possess daw ang computer nila. kasi daw, noong gabi, i-off na nya sana ang computer, biglang may lumabas na pulang mukha ng demonyo - paikot ikot lang daw sa green monitor! takot na takot! so dumating kinabukasan si Obet para silipin. akala namin i-pray over nya. pero imbes na holy water, ang nilabas nya ay floppy disk. (Shar Balagtas Abby Dupale Kat Magtoto - alam nyo pa ba ang floppy disk?) at ang sabi - virus yan. E bakit gabi lang lumalabas? Ngumiti lang si Obet. ilang araw ding usap-usapan yon sa PSSC!

Iba din ang humor ni Obet. dry. pero nagpapatawa yon, kung papakinggan nyo ng mabuti.

sa kanya din namin naintindihan at napalalim ang sustainable energy. at later, energy justice.

Pagpugay, Obet. maraming salamat.

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

Message from Jeane Peracullo:
“It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Obet Verzola. It has been my extreme luck to have met and listened to great Filipino public intellectuals. Obet certainly was among them. As a secretary-general of Philippine Greens, Obet was hugely influential in deepening my ecological consciousness that continues to inform my lifework. Below is a picture of him giving a lecture on the present and future of Philippine ecological movements at the Center for Ecozoic Living and Learning (CELL) in Silang, Cavite. The other is a picture of him with Jun Simbulanand a very young Fritz Balgos at one of the many mobilizations we joined between 1999-2003. We will miss you, Obet. Rest in peace.”

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Edlyn Verzola, Niece Of Roberto Verzola published a tribute .

Tito Boy passed away yesterday. He was known as Robert Verzola to the media and his students; and Obet to his many friends. I am very sad and regretful. I was looking forward to spending time with him when I finally came home from Kuwait. It was from him and his siblings that I learned as a young girl the price one pays for one’s beliefs and principles. Tito Boy was known as a brilliant man and a man of integrity and courage. My dad told me so proudly many years ago that Tito Boy built his first computer in the 70s as a young electrical engineering student in UP at a time when a computer was a thing of wonder. But you would not know the genius that he was because he spoke so humbly, quietly and kindly. But one could see his visionary mindset in his technical writings and in his books and presentations. I am told that his writings on our environment and ecology, sustainable energy and agriculture continue to be read and studied. His integrity, passion and nationalism could be gleaned in the things he advocated - sustainable agriculture, rice intensification, social justice in the way we deal with our environment, regulation of genetic engineering in our country, energy efficiency, nuclear power, protection of Phil intellectual property and our ecology, clean elections technology. He is well remembered for designing and hosting the first email system that NGOs used back in the early 1990s. His courage was apparent in his testimonies of his torture under the Marcos administration and his open war against any form of tyranny. He could have parlayed his genius into millions; but he chose to serve our people. He did not know how to live in the sidelines. In many ways, he was a hero whose life is an inspiration to those who seek to fight the good fight. For myself, there was so much I wanted to ask him about his writings, about his experiences, about family. He still had much to impart as he had lived a rich and extraordinary life; and his mind remained like a razor. But all that is gone and his family, friends feel so bereft. My heart goes out to his family, wife and children, his brothers and sisters, my titos, titas and cousins on the Pio Verzola side of the family who are now inconsolable and will feel this incredible loss most keenly. I am here dear family one with you in this hours of grief. Goodbye Tito Boy. I am sad we had so little time. I will never forget you and will make sure my children know of your courage and sacrifice. I hope we meet again someday.

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Lguerr published a tribute .

Mula kay Bong Ramilo

Vale Obet Verzola. Thanks for sharing, Andrea Andy Seto:

"Lost another personal hero. So sad. Mabuti at magaling na tao. Matalino at mapagkumbaba. Expert sa math pero mas expert maging tao. Able to look at the past without blinking at its horrors and learn from it. Able to imagine a more humane future and work toward it. Siguro mga 2 or 3 times ko lang siyang nakadaupang-palad as fellow activist or as interviewee, but what an impression. Salamat po sa buhay."

From Robert boojie:

"Roberto Verzola has passed away. He brought email and perhaps Internet connectivity to what was then the burgeoning civil society sector in the Philippines in the 1990s, a pioneer in low power FM radio (which was later proven to be successful by one station in the Visayas but it was later shuttered by the NTC) and later became an exponent of renewable energy.
He was also tortured during Martial Law.

It was an honor to have met, and to some degree, worked with him.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Obet%20Verzola&epa=SEARCH_BOX

Siya ay isang bayani at ang kanyang pagpanaw ay kabawasan na naman natin."

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Lguerr published a tribute .

Mula kay Eribert Padilla: I’ve known Obet Verzola as the founder of People’s Access, an electronic bulletin board system (eBBS) for NGOs in the Philippines. This was before email, internet, and social media; when computers were working with Disk Operating System (DOS).
RIP Obet

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Dakila published a tribute .

We mourn the loss of Obet Verzola, the ‘Father of Philippine E-mail’, scientist, Martial Law activist, and one of the most inspiring figures in the Philippine social movement.

Ka Obet was in the forefront of various advocacies ranging from information technology, genetic engineering, intellectual property rights, automated election system to renewable energy, environment, organic agriculture and sustainable farming methods.

Ka Obet has been a social activist since the 1970s. For us, in DAKILA, he has immensely inspired our work in Digital Activism.

Ka Obet is undoubtedly a pioneering genius but he chose to dedicate his brilliance and his life in the service of our marginalized people. Despite insurmountable odds, he took the noblest path. He believed in a purpose higher than himself and changed the world by living as a humble example. Ka Obet is what true heroes are made of.

Pagpupugay Ka Obet Verzola!
Rest in Power!
Ikaw ay tunay na #LahingDAKILA.

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Lguerr published a tribute .

From UP Diliman Institute of Mathematics: It is with sadness that we relay the passing of our former lecturer, Roberto Verzola. Sir Obet succumbed to lingering illness last night. He was 67 years old. An engineer by training, he was an I-Math lecturer from 2009 to 2017.

Sir Obet was recently recognized as a Father of Philippine email, since he started a commercial e-mail service in February 1992, even before the Internet was introduced in the Philippines. He is the Secretary-General of Philippine Greens, an organization of political activists who advocate principles of ecology, social justice and self-determination. He is also the father of our former Instructor, Cecille Verzola-Macale.

Let us pray for his eternal peace, and for his family at this time of grief.

https://www.facebook.com/IMathUPD/photos/a.422511201264878/1447069238809064/?type=3&theater

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

Mula sa kapatid ni Ka Obet, si May Rodriguez:
GONE AT 67. Gusto kong magkita tayo nang harapan, you struggled to say. I don’t want to see you from inside those frames, you said. You then turned your back and said, I am signing off now.

We should have known you were saying goodbye.

After our parents left, you became the family’s gentle leader, the bearer of its longest memories and simple values, and its proud eccentricities. Never just the easy road. It had to be the right road. We promise to try to keep that standard you set. Hindi ka mapapahiya sa amin.

We will remember you for your honesty, courage, and humility. Well not really just those. You had a mind that won’t be put into boxes. You went from economics, to politics, to environmental protection, to computer hardware and then software, and then to farming and renewable energy. You could whistle the Scheherazade. You gave your apos with Cecille mental work to play with. You were trying to become a carpenter while preparing a theoretical paper to submit to an international conference. You made your own envelops from scrap.

You started to become frail in the last months. You lived and slept with pain. It was eating you. And now you had to go.

Godspeed, our kuya. Flor, Cecille and Noel, and your apos Isabel and Rafael, certainly Totoy and the whole family of nieces and nephews and in-laws will miss your theorizing and your strange holiday games.

We could not give you that face-to-face you asked for. But in the new universe you are now, you’d be so busy learning and discovering again, you’d wonder why you made such a fuss of it. Know you are loved.

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

Mula naman kay Doki Natividad: Paalam Ka obet Roberto Verzola.
Thank you for opening the avenue for me in environmental awareness nung studyante pa ako. thanks for the book Society, Ecology and Transformation (Philippine Greens). thanks for the conversations when we visited you during you went on a hunger strike in the streets of QC sa may circle.. DA yata yun?) mga 2004?and up until sa kwentuhan natin on Renewable energy (solar) for communities. salamat ng marami.rest well.

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

Mula sa Rice Watch: Pakikiramay po sa pamilya ni Mr Roberto "Obet" Verzola.. Si Obet ay bahagi ng Rice Watch Action Network bilang individual member. Si Obet ang syang pangunahing nagsusulong ng System of Rice Intensification sa Pilipinas kasama ni Prof. Normal Uphoff ng Cornell University at nagsulong nito sa pamamagitan ng pagtatatag ng SRI Pilipinas..Katulong sya ng maraming grupo sa pagpapalaganap ng organikong pagsasaka sa Pilipinas at lately, ang pagsusulong ng renewable energy...malungkot pero we pray for your eternal rest...(photo credits to Gani Serrano)
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=rice%20watch%20action%20network%20inc&epa=SEARCH_BOX

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

Mula sa Philippine Permaculture Association

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Asis Perez published a comment .

The strength of a man comes in many forms. His body might be frail, his voice does not create a ramble, cloth often less than ordinary, and arrives almost always through public transport.
For his simplicity, Ka Obet Versola may not be the poster model of an advocate... but he is one of the most passionate advocates I have ever known.
A real advocate of clean energy, environment and social justice, Ka Obet not only "walk the talk" he literally LIVED the TALK.
While it is with deep sadness that we say goodby to him, we are also comforted by his works and inspiration...
PAALAM ...ROBERTO "KA OBET" VERSOLA, Former President and Chairman of the Board, Tanggol Kalikasan..

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

We lost tonight our father, mentor and friend. He has dedicated his life fighting for justice and the oppressed, and in doing so, inspired many activist and leaders who continue to fight for our democracy, environment, climate and social justice. We will miss you dearly Ka Obet.
https://www.facebook.com/microrenewables/photos/a.1843759742520107/2710918972470842/?type=3&theater

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

It would be a second tragedy today if I had to squeeze any kind of description of Roberto Verzola and his contributions to society in a short piece. In 2015, sharing his interview by my hubby on the looming power crisis, I captioned the post: “Shades of Pilosopong Tasyo. The man that generates ideas for Society, Ecology and Transformation, if only heeded even just once in a while, can have us leap-frogging development and skipping the tragic mistakes that ravage ecosystems and our health. While his ideas seem unwieldy, the alternatives that we are trapped in have been proven to fail, hence we have to try a radically different way and Obet always offers them. What have we got to lose but the chains of currently unsustainable paths?” https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/scitech/science/459298/solar-power-and-bayanihan-can-solve-phl-power-crisis-says-scientist/story/?fbclid=IwAR3djFizIHICbO1q5rtpD9Io4oSmD1mof_-IFJRxDuoE4eMfw7pTzH8jE8g
He passed today but he left us a blueprint. The treasure map to get out of this mess we are finding ourselves in, and it is not JUST the Covid 19 pandemic.
If you are a patriot and a dreamer and feel passionately about a better society, you would feel like you have entered the Magic Treehouse when you visit his Wordpress site. Everything from “Society, Ecology and Transformation”, a blueprint for a green political agenda, to SRI, a system of planting rice that increases yield without synthetic inputs, from an incisive statistical analysis of the 2004 election results to a book on transitioning to renewable energy.
Obet was indefatigable.
It was the early nineties when having just passed the bar, I had to get email connectivity for our NGO Tanggol Kalikasan, so it could participate in the discussions of fellow public interest environmental lawyers around the world. 20 or so of us met at Eugene, Oregon, but we needed a secure way to communicate. And from underneath his stairs, he had a decrepit looking computer that was providing a gateway to the NGO sector to communicate and get inspired by the examples and the bravado of others fighting corporate greed like we were.
I was already a disciple. Here was a simple man with an Electrical Engineering degree who was working for social justice, ecological integrity and appropriate technology. Obet was always figuring something out, and presenting radical analysis and solutions in his kind and gentle manner, his eyes always twinkling and almost misting with the discoveries he made.
Towards the end of the decade, we were having regular sessions on green political thought and we were trading stories and articles and before we knew it, Obet would present us with what was to be our Manifesto, Guiding Principles and Platform for the Philippine Greens. We swore to this tome on November 30, 1998, on the birthday of Bonifacio during the 100th year of the Philippine Revolution. I still keep my printed copy to this day, and it is still the standard by which I would like my life’s work to be measured.
Since then, Obet has guided where I stood through many issues that matter to the nation, strategic ones that affect many other issues. His work was characterized by an indefatigable belief that humans will rise above the din and see the error of his ways.
More recently, our understanding of Obet was rocked by his graphic account of his torture during Martial Law in the hands of the very ones who swore to uphold his rights. His account was published in the book “Not On Our Watch” where he was finally able to tell the sordid tale after a lifetime of continuous stellar work on many issues that affect the society he wanted to improve.
It is ironic that he would pass during a time when we are being walloped by the very things he taught us not to do.

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Ipat Luna published a tribute .

http://newsbytes.ph/2020/05/07/roberto-verzola-ph-internet-pioneer-and-activist-dies-at-68/

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