“Many of Obet’s friends and colleagues have written fine, glowing tributes about his life. But there’s more to know about him, considering that he shied away from publicity and preferred to work in the background. For Obet, what mattered was the spread of a powerful idea, not the projection of his persona.” 


Dr. Menandro Berana, UP DIliman

“Rest in peace Sir Obet. Prayers for his soul and condolences to his family.”

Jerome Patrick Cruz, Ateneo de Manila University

“The last time I met Obet was of an hour-long conversation while I was driving him past traffic in Kamuning, the neighborhood where he grew up. He was pointing out his favorite childhood haunts, even as we talked about his most recent views about markets, fairness, and policy. While I did not know him as well as others, that experience will always stay with me of my fondest memory of him: a towering, even polymathic, intellect; and a person of unwavering commitment to fairness, as well as to finding joy in the simplest things. He was a thinker in his own genus, in a world of growing temptation to espouse form over substance.

Rest in peace, Obet. We will carry on your dedication to justice and to thinking things anew. How you will be missed.”

Victoria Quimbo, Action for Economic Reforms

“Our prayers for Obet. May he rest in peace. Will really miss him. We lost an esteemed colleague. Isa si Obet sa mga naging kakilala ko na sa tingin ko ay naka-achieve ng inner peace. I have never met such a simple and humble person in all my life.”

Dr. Joseph Lim, Ateneo de Manila University

“May he rest in peace. We will miss him. Green economy and environmentalist, daig ang comelec in analyzing votes during elections, super engineer and mathematician, took ms econ, ex-IBON head, most of all, kind and lovable friend and human being. Tnx to Doc Buboy, Joy and IP team, I got close to him in Region VIII. Roommates kami 2 or 3 times.”

Jeck Reyes-Cantos, Action for Economic Reforms

“You have always been larger than life. During my IBON days, when access to information was scarce, you were there to make information available and retrievable.  When I moved to sustainable livelihoods for rice farmers- advocacy in Rice Watch Action Network Inc, we were partners in pushing for SRI.  And when I ventured into helping Cong. Rav Rocamora of Siquijor, you were there to help us get renewable energy sources started for the tiny island. Yes you were one of those nerds but you were always willing to have your ideas challenged and tested.  I consider you one of my Kuyas whom I can readily consult for anything and everything under the sun. Guide us from above. We will surely miss you.”

Atty. Nepo Malaluan, Department of Education

“Obet was a deep thinker, and had a vision of disruptive technologies before they come. He also lived simply and with humility.”

Joy Chavez, Action for Economic Reforms

“Obet was so simple and no-fuss. He was apologetic when we had to rebook his ticket (for good reason) and it cost almost the same as the original ticket. He’d request a couple of days extension in field areas so he could visit his other projects or contacts or just be available to those who would require him, but never asked for special arrangements. Region 8 assignments were punishing for him—his back suffered from the long road trips, but he never complained. He was popular with university students, researchers and LGU officials because he had an encouraging can-do attitude, and made technical proposals easy to understand, not scary and doable.”

Nadine Agustin, Action for Economic Reforms

“ I had the privilege of working with Sir Obet through the Industrial Policy Team. He was such a humble man. We know that he was already ill then but he was still willing to do field work and travel for hours just to share his expertise to LGUs and SUCs in the region. He didn’t even expect to receive anything for his work. He was also in a hurry. I remember him saying “if you are ready let’s sign a MOA na, I may not have a lot of time.” He was able to do a MOA with University of Eastern Philippine and AER to deploy renewable energy in Northern Samar. I will miss him. “

Dr. Buenaventura Dargantes, Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte

“Rest Obet. Your life has been a testament to a good fight. Happy to note that you spent a significant amount of time with your apo. We will all remember him fondly. What I remember vividly and very fondly was his comment to me: “Buboy, Happy Birthday na yung kinanta mo, hindi mo pa magawa!” That brought laughter to everybody. “I will miss times like that.

Before I met the man, I got acquainted with Obet’s work through his book on the Green Party. Being written by a Filipino, I introduced such work to my graduate students, who were taking up a course on Socio-ecological Systems under the MSc program on Tropical Ecology. His ideas elicited excited discussions among my students, with even my foreign students expressing appreciation of Obet’s ideas. When I met him in person, I was stunned upon finding him soft-spoken and very unassuming; in contrast to my mental image of a political environmentalist who can be very fiery in speech. Of course he was passionate in the topics of the environment and sustainability. When Obet eventually came to ISRDS at VSU, my students watched him in awe as he would explain complex concepts in very understandable language. For this, I would say thank you Obet for contributing to the contents of my lectures, and for enriching the learnings of my students.”

Engr. Danny Entico, University of Eastern Philippine, Catarman, Northern Samar

I not only considered him a friend but also a brother, a mentor, a persistent advocate on renewable energy which lead us have a MOA particularly on the promotion of microhydro with intent of making Northern Samar the microhydro capital. He even personally volunteered to conduct a training workshop which we did last year in October 2019. He even donated to us his model of microhydro and volumes of journals and books to encourage us here in UEP to pursue the green energy. His advocacies of going green will surely leave a footprint in our heart and perhaps to all Norte Samareños as the college of engineering is recently conducting a number of researches and thesis. Personally am advising student thesis of freezers powered by solar as part of our preliminary work on adopt a municipal specifically to the island town of Capul where Sir Versola had visited with our team together with Doc Tito. We also visited a site for potential microhydro which about a kilometer and haft walk up the mountain and he didn’t even complain a bit in spite of condition. I couldn’t forget his humility, tirelessness and down to earth pakikisama in spite of his high achievement and big ideas which have gained more respect from many of our collegues here in the university. To him our greatest admiration that once we have known and work with a person of great ordeal yet humble, approachable, and accommodating to everyone. May he rest in peace in the hand of the Lord.”

Dr. Jehan Libre, Visayas State University-Villaba Campus, Villaba, Leyte

“Condolence to the family of Sir Obet.”

Engr. Katherine Donayre, Visayas State University-Isabel Campus, Isabel, Leyte

“I am very sad about this news. His coming to VSU Isabel was indeed very memorable. The fact that we get to discuss ideas with a real legend, for me that’s something.”

Dr. Tess, Tabada, Visayas Stata University, Institute for Strategic Research and Development Studies, Baybay, Leyte

“I didn’t know him well but my impression of him, during our activities, was that of a humble and principled person. We will include him in our prayers.”

Dr. Jun Agda, Eastern Samar State University-Borongan Campus, Borongan, Eastern Samar

“It’s a sad day. I first met Engr. Obet when we were in VSU last year and despite his immense contribution to the field of  electrical/solar engineering, he remained to be very unassuming. I remember, nag videoke pa tayo noong gabi na yon. We will miss him. Regards to his family.”

Marciano Cadalin, Eastern Samar State University-Borongan Campus, Borongan, Eastern Samar

“We shared the same table the last time na sa RE Congress tayo. Since then, I started reading about his life. Very inspiring. I found one of his write ups about his experience during Martial Law. It was excruciatingly painful to read. Until then Ka Obet, you are a life well-lived!”