KASAMA Vol. 19 No. 4 / October-November-December 2005 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network

passed away on December 17, 2005 at 81 years of age

“Human rights is at the core of Gospel teachings. ... Sufferings unite victims. Inside the Marcos prisons, the victims and their families learned to care for each other and share everything with others. It is the link to the victims that gives the activist real participant’s strength.” – Sr. Mariani Dimaranan.

SISTER MARIANI DIMARANAN Sr. Mariani Dimaranan ran away from home to enter the convent two years after graduating from college. Her father, unable to convince her to return home, filed a case against her in court. But Sr. Mariani stood her ground and with all determination and feistiness became an ordained nun of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Concepcion (SFIC). When asked why she became a nun, her ready answer was, “because I want to help the poor.” And for Sr. Mariani, serving the poor meant not only doing charitable works but being with them in their struggle for a better life.

By the time of Martial Law, Sr. Mariani was already identified by the Marcos dictatorship as a supporter of what the military deemed as being front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Because of this, she was detained and having witnessed the torture of political prisoners while she was in detention, upon her release Sister Mariani joined the newly established Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP). The TFDP was set up by the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) to defend political prisoners and document human rights abuses. The class action suits brought by the victims of Marcos’ Martial Rule against his estate rely heavily upon TFDP’s documentation.

Sister Mariani was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She served the TFDP as its Chairperson until 1996.


Task Force Detainees web site at;
‘The Militant Nun as Political Activist and Feminist in Martial Law Philippines’, by Mina Roces at;
‘Sister Mariani, human rights fighter; 81’, by Ma. Ceres Doyo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 19 December 2005.