Antonio Fortich

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Antonio Yapsutco Fortich
InstalledJanuary 13, 1967
Term endedJanuary 31, 1989
PredecessorManuel Yap
SuccessorCamilo Gregorio
OrdinationMarch 4, 1944 (priest), February 24, 1967 (bishop)
Personal details
Birth nameAntonio Yapsutco Fortich
Born(1913-08-11)August 11, 1913
Sibulan, Negros Oriental, Philippine Islands
DiedJuly 2, 2003(2003-07-02) (aged 89)
Bacolod, Philippines
DenominationRoman Catholic
ResidenceBacolod City
ParentsIgnacio Fortich (father), Rosalia Yapsutco (mother)
Alma materAteneo de Manila

Antonio Yapsutco Fortich (August 11, 1913 - July 2, 2003) was a Catholic bishop and social activist who lived in Bacolod in Negros Occidental in the Philippines.

His name is inscribed on the Wall of Remembrance at the Philippines' Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Monument of Heroes), in recognition of his opposition to the excesses of the 21-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.[1]

Early years[edit]

Antonio Yapsutco Fortich was born on August 11, 1913 in Sibulan, Negros Oriental. He attended elementary and high school in Dumaguete, going on to the Ateneo de Manila for college and theological studies (San Jose Minor and San Jose Major seminaries). His parents, Ignacio and Rosalia Yapsutco Fortich, were well-to-do farmers and he was the elder and only son in their family of two.[citation needed]

Styles of
Antonio Fortich
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop
Posthumous stylenot applicable


On March 4, 1944, at the height of the World War II, Fortich was ordained by Michael O'Doherty, Archbishop of Manila. His first assigned in Bacolod City and was active in work that empowered the poor. Bishop Fortich was known to his followers as "Commander Tony". Like his superior, Jaime Sin, the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, he was an ardent opponent of Ferdinand Marcos. Bishop Fortich spoke against the hanging judges of Manila known as the Guillotine Club. He was one of the first people to alert the government to the illegal activities of timber poachers, who had stripped hundreds of acres of forest in Negros. He supported the election of Joseph Estrada as president of the Philippines, and when it became clear that Estrada was using his position to accumulate personal wealth, the bishop withdrew his support.

Bishop Fortich set up co-operatives composed of small landowners and sugar workers, in order to break the debt cycle suffered by Filipino sugar workers. In doing so, the bishop antagonised large landowners, including congressman Armando Gustilo, who at one stage tried to intimidate him by lobbing a hand grenade into his house.[citation needed]


Bishop Fortich died on July 2, 2003, aged 89.


Honored as Domestic Prelate in 1958

Awarded by the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos the Honoris Causa: doctor of Philosophy for Humanitarian service in 1969