“Revolutionaries fall in the heat of the struggle but the revolution rages on forward.”
Today marks the 13th death anniversary of Ka Popoy Lagman. He was gunned down at UP Bahay ng Alumni by still unknown assassins. Ka Popoy was a visionary, a revolutionary socialist and champion of the working class.
For me, his contribution to the social movement goes beyond the ideological discussion that led to the historic split in the Philippine Left Movement. It is beyond the brilliant political tactics that drove capitalists and state to heed the call of labor. His genius lies is that he fought with tenacity that probably this generation could not even fathom.
He commands his ideology with deep understanding of the working class he passionately serves. His style is abrasive, harshly polemical, and brutally frank which does not sit well with those with sensitive skin in the movement.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to witness him in action before he was brutally murdered. The visionary that he was, he sent me to Baguio to prepare the logistics for a nationwide labor leaders conference at Day 2 of Edsa 2. I was pissed off because I will be missing the action in Edsa. Knowing that Edsa 2 will place GMA in power, he deemed it necessary to prepare the working class for a bigger struggle against the hands of GMA and her globalization policy. A few days after the successful assembly that convened thousands of labor leaders to form a working class party that is now the Partido ng Manggagawa, Ka Popoy was shot dead in UP.
Looking back at 13 years ago, the Philippine social movement would have been different if Ka Popoy is still alive. In fact, my life would have been so much different. In 2001, after Edsa 2, Ka Popoy’s death, Edsa 3 and the 2001 elections, I was 23 and became a June bride.
I am 36 now and still married. Today, I pay homage to a fallen comrade whose idealism fueled my ideals, whose passion sparked my revolutionary fervor, whose tenacity inspired my youth and continue to strengthen my resolve.
I am privileged to have walked the road less travelled by with this man as I was forever changed. I pay tribute by treading the same path so his ideals will live on.
Long live Ka Popoy! Long live the revolution!
*Posted on 06 February 2014 at http://www.stellarleni.wordpress.com