Remembering Angel Santos
Thursday, 16 April 2009 03:16 by Zita Y. Taitano | Variety News Staff
THERE may be no official ceremony to mark the 50th birthday of the late senator Angel Santos, but those who remember his contributions to Guam lit candles to honor the man who fought for the Chamorro people’s rights.The late stone park in Hagatna was named in honor of the late senator Angel Santos, who was known as an advocate of Chamorro rights and credited for the creation of the Chamorro Land Trust Commission.photos by Zita Y. Taitano
Surviving family members, relatives, friends, supporters and activists gathered at the Angel Santos Latte Stone Park in Hagatna on Tuesday night to pay tribute to the late senator, who passed away in July 2003 at the age of 44.
Among the coordinators of the ceremony was Jonathan Diaz, of Nasion Chamorro, who said that the main people responsible for the event were the Santos family.
Diaz said the family traditionally held a ceremony to commemorate Diaz’s death, but this year they decided to pay homage to him on his birthday, April 14.
Tuesday night’s vigil attracted more than 200 people, most of whom knew Santos not only as a leader, but as a friend.
“People are still mourning their leader’s death. When we look back, we realize that he was radical in a sense,” said Diaz.
Paraphrasing a speech that Santos delivered years ago, Diaz said the community “cannot be passive nor silent and that the government should stand in defense of its people.”
“Let’s help our people. Please stand and make it work. Nobody’s Angel Santos. I think he would stand for the plight of our people,” Diaz said.
Santos was credited for the creation of the Chamorro Land Trust Commission, which is currently facing challenges.
Activist Debbie Quinata said if “Anghet were alive, the situation with Chamorro land trust would not have taken place.”Family members light candles at the Angel Santos Latte Stone Park in Hagatna on Tuesday night to pay tribute to the late senator.photos by Zita Y. Taitano
“He would’ve watched it closely and would’ve been in compliance with the law,” said Quinata. “I think that when we lost Angel we lost a man of compassion and a man of integrity and its’ a very big loss for the Chamorro people of Guam.”
She recalled that Santos was not easily intimated and that he questioned authority in the proper manner.
“We lost a great leader and its’ sad for the upcoming generation,” Quinata said. “But I think his contributions will never be forgotten. He taught the responsibility of standing for what’s right.”
She said Santos stood out from the rest because of his honesty and integrity.