Renato Reyes Jr., or commonly called “Ka Ato” by his comrades, is a Filipino activist leader who is the current Secretary General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN).
Bayan is an alliance of left-wing Philippine organizations. It was founded on International Workers’ Day, May 1, 1985 as part of the opposition during the Marcos dictatorship.
Reyes attended Lourdes School of Quezon City from 1998 to 2001 where he became the national secretary general of the League of Filipino Students (LFA), a student activist group in the Philippines.
On 1998 while in Lourdes, Reyes founded the youth group of another activist group Anakbayan. Reyes also attended the University of the Philippines – Diliman.
Reyes works full time for Bayan since the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001 and has since dragged himself to ranks until becoming the secretary general.
Aside from activism and politics, Reyes is also an avid musician. He plays the guitar, piano and the blues-harp and has written songs from the time he was in college.
Reyes has a son named Dylan who, according to his blog, is also a music lover and can play guitar and piano.
Renato Reyes Jr. is a prominent activist a visible figure in most major street protest. The activist leader has been also a target of fake news and criticisms by the supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte.
On November 2016, Reyes was the subject of an open letter that went viral on social media.
Kristina Durano Gonzales, an avid Duterte supporter asked few questions to Reyes in her Facebook post that goes viral on the internet.
She asked Reyes if he had a job before or he’s just only made a living by organizing rally about the latest issues in the Philippines.
Gonzales also said that she’s already familiar with Renato Reyes who organized many rallies in the streets for decades. She also questioned the expenses of Reyes in their rallies and how he sustained to needs of his family if he doesn’t have any job.
After weeks of silence, the wife of Renato Reyes. Beng Rivera-Reyes responded on the open letter of Gonzales.
Rivera-Reyes admitted that she was hurt by the comments that she read on the internet against her husband, she wrote: “I need to react, not because I give credence to these lies, but because nakakasakit na ang mga kasinungalingan na ito.”
Beng Rivera-Reyes also admitted that her husband was unemployed, but she denied that Renato earned money from organizing rallies. She also shared that she was the only one who worked to support their family as a doctor in a public hospital.
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