Ricardo Manapat, former National Archives chief, dies

Posted at 12/25/08 1:03 PM

Ricardo Manapat, the former director of the National Archives and author of the classic anti-cronyism pamphlet "Some Are Smarter Than Others", has died. He was 55.

In a phone interview, Manapat's brother Freddie said Ricardo died in his sleep Wednesday morning, a day before Christmas.

"He passed away yesterday morning. We were knocking on his door because it was already late. He was in a sleeping position on his side and he was already dead," he told abs-cbnNEWS.com.

He said the family had the body autopsied to determine the cause of death. "It seems to be related to an attack or bangungot. Before he died, he seemed to be exhibiting signs of a stroke but he was never hospitalized," he said, adding that Manapat would just get massages.

He said Manapat's remains are at Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. While there is no set date yet for the funeral, Freddie said Manapat will be buried at Holy Gardens in Taytay.

"There is no specific date yet [for the funeral]. We are waiting for his sisters to arrive from the United States," he said.

The eldest of five children, Manapat was a former philosophy teacher in the Ateneo de Manila University and an active member of the anti-Marcos movement during the Martial Law years.

In 1979, he wrote "Some Are Smarter Than Others", a 40-page pamphlet that detailed crony capitalism under the Marcos regime that he later expanded into a book. The book draws its title from a statement attributed to Imelda Marcos. Parrying criticisms of relatives who became overnight millionaires after her husband assumed absolute powers in 1972, Imelda countered: “Sometimes you have smart relatives who can make it… My dear, there are always people who are just a little faster, more brilliant, more aggressive.”

Manapat was appointed chief of the National Archives during the Ramos administration before being replaced by President Joseph Estrada. He was reappointed during the first term of President Arroyo.

In 2004, he was accused of tampering documents pertinent to a disqualification case filed against then presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. The Supreme Court later ruled against the petition and allowed Poe to run.