Pinoy IT activist Manny Amador found dead

Passionate Linux advocate and local IT pioneer Manny Amador was found dead by authorities on Friday in his rented house in Cebu where he had relocated to work for open-source firm InfoWeapons.

He turned 49 last July 7.

Amador, brother of theatre actress Pinky Amador, apparently died in his sleep due to cardiac arrest that may have been triggered by diabetic complications. Sketchy reports indicated he may have been dead for three days before being discovered by local police.

While in Cebu, Amador also worked as correspondent for an IT publication. He also maintained at least three blogs which served as his outlets for his many persuasions.

Aside from being a hardcore techie, Amador was also an ardent anti-RH Bill advocate, a dedicated motorcycle enthusiast, and former lead guitarist of the pioneering Pinoy hard-rock band The Breed.

But the work that really defined Amador was his involvement in consumer activism in the early days of the Internet in the Philippines. He was a leading light in local IT scene when open-source was also just gaining a foothold in the country.

As president of the Philippine League for Democratic Telecommunications Inc. (PLDTi), Amador was deeply involved in opposing telephone metering being proposed then.

He also led the PLDTi in suing PLDT for P100 million after the telco giant included his group in a case against Gerry Kaimo who held the domain PLDT.com then.

In an interview with Wired Philippines, he had this to say about the issue: “PLDT clearly made a mistake when it included PLDTi in the lawsuit since the League does not own or maintain the PLDT.COM website. That’s why we’re suing them for P100 million. That should show them that they cannot just drag innocent people to court without facing the consequences. The League will not be intimidated by this malicious and clumsy attempt to silence it. We will continue to speak out against PLDT’s unfair and backward metering scheme and any other anti-consumer practices."

As a fervent open-source supporter, Amador said in the same interview said that an effective answer to software piracy would be the promotion of open-source software.

“Instead of fighting piracy, why not avoid it altogether? Linux, for example, is the world’s fastest growing operating system and it’s practically free! Can you imagine how much piracy could be diminished if government offices and business switched to Linux? The improvement would be tremendous," he said.

Born and raised in Manila, Amador graduated from Ateneo de Manila with a degree in AB Communication Arts and AB Philosophy. He, however, called Cebu his home in the last days of his life. Part of the reason he relocated to the province was to marry a local girl – but the wedding didn’t push through. Nonetheless, he stayed put and learned to love the island life. — Newsbytes.ph