First Quater Storm Activists from the US, Canada and the Philippines

First Quater Storm Activists from the US, Canada and the Philippines

Kilusang Dekada 70 (KD70)
Contact Person. Prof. Guillermo Ponce De Leon
Phone: 818-749-0272
June 23, 2009

Julius Fortuna, An FQS stalwart/ MDP Secretary General, Dies at 60

Los Angeles-- The Kilusang Dekada 70 ( KD70) composed of First Quarter Storm and martial law activists based in the United States pays tribute to Julius Fortuna who passed away last Tuesday, June 23 in the Philippines.

He succumbed on Tuesday morning to a massive heart attack at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City where he was rushed after complaining of difficulty in breathing. He would have turned 61 on July 30 this year.

He was a member of the national council of the militant Kabataang Makabayan (KM) in the late ’60s and later served as secretary-general of the Movement for a Democratic Philippines, the coordinating body of radical groups that organized the massive demonstrations now collectively known as the First Quarter Storm of 1970.

Fortuna took up Political Science at the University of the Philippines in the late ’60s and later transferred to the Lyceum of the Philippines. KD70 fondly remembers him as one of the leaders of the student strikes in Manila in the 1969 that led to the First Quarter Storm of the 1970.

As he was already in the order of battle of the military for his radical activities, Fortuna went underground in August 1971 upon the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. He was arrested in October 1974 and spent seven years in Fort Bonifacio and other detention centers as a political prisoner. The military suspected him of being the secretary of the CPP Manila_Rizal Regional Committee (MRC), an unproven charge that is very common to this days.

From an Activist to a Journalist

Fortuna wrote a regular column for the Manila Times. He had previously written columns for a number of newspapers, including People’s Journal, Sun-Star Manila, The Freeman and Daily Globe. He was also associate editor of the Manila Chronicle in the mid-90s.

Fortuna began his journalism career immediately after his release from detention as a political prisoner from 1974 to 1981. He covered the foreign affairs beat for the Daily Globe then later to the defunct Manila Chronicle. Fortuna served as an officer of various media groups. He was Director of the National Press Club and later of the Samahang Plaridel.

Fortuna leaves behind his wife, Sabina, and two children, Jillian and Amilcar.

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