University Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

In this place,
Pastor Mesina
was last seen alive

Age: 18

Birthplace: Unknown

Place of Death:

University Avenue

Sonny and his friends were supposed to watch a movie.
Instead, he decided to come here, University Avenue, to protest.
On February 1, 1971, he became UP Diliman’s first martyr.

“Sonny” was a freshman taking Chemistry in UP Diliman.
He was a Philippine Science High School graduate from a middle-class family, but was always aware of the struggles of the more impoverished.
This sympathy compelled him to join discussion groups, protests, and activist groups against the Marcos regime.

His death inspired people from his UP Diliman and Pisay to take the protest to the streets and resist the ongoing dictatorship.

It also roused the ongoing “Diliman Commune”,
both of which became landmarks of history in the fight for academic freedom.

February 1, 1971

On February 1, 1971, Sonny joined a student rally against the steep rise in the price of basic commodities.
He was joined with members of the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan.
Instead of seeing a movie with his friends,
Sonny went to University Avenue to join the protesters.

Together, they made a roadblock and planned to march towards Commonwealth Avenue. But the nature of their protest quickly changed when they ran across mathematics professor Inocente Campos.
Campos fired a rifle and shotgun at the students behind the barricades, hitting Sonny in his forehead.

Sonny chose to be taken to the infirmary, protesting against being checked-in to a “military hospital”.
He died three days later, becoming the “first martyr” of UP Diliman.