“Whatever is the manner of death/ There is a common denominator/ A hero serves the people/ To his very last breath”
As we commemorate and celebrate the glory of courageous Filipinos, our heroes, we remember the service they rendered to our country’s freedom, honor and justice. Many of them have fallen and we are proud to raise banners militantly as they did before us. While the Philippines of today may be different from the one that first inspired many revolutionists in the Cry of Pugad Lawin in 1896, let us not forget those they fought against–the colonizing imperialists, the corrupt bureaucrat-capitalists, the repressive landlords with their mercenary army–who continue to reign with terror and tyranny in the land today.
More than reflecting on exceptional acts of individual heroism, we should learn from ordinary people whose valiant lives were offered for extraordinary service to others; thus, deserve the greatest honors. Among them are the martyrs of Lacub in Abra, the Carranglan in Nueva Vizcaya and San Jose, Antique in Panay. All were snuffed out by fascist state agents.
The most recent are the “Antique7” as human rights groups called them. They are New People’s Army (NPA) Red fighters labeled as terrorists by state forces because nothing is more terrifying to a reactionary regime than a genuine people’s democratic government coming to power.
According to the statement released by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Ka Dudi (Felix Salditos), Ka Ipoy (Eldie Labinghisa), Ka Elton (Peter Mecinas), Ka Liway (Karen Ceralvo) and Ka Mayang (Liezl Bandiola) have poured out the rest of their lives to the utmost service to the people and in the advancement of the struggle for national democracy and socialism. The two others, Ka Bebe (Jason Talibo) and Ka Jason Sanchez were there to provide technical services to the comrades in order to facilitate their research and study of the conditions of the most backward province in Panay, central Philippines. They were unarmed noncombatants, writers and researchers of the NDFP. All had gunshot wounds on the head after a raid on August 15.
We, youth group Anakbayan-Canada, salute them the country’s revolutionaries of our time. We firmly unite with the family, comrades and friends of the Antique martyrs in condemning the barbaric acts of the 301st Brigade, 61st Infantry Battalion, PMF and San Jose police.
We reaffirm our earlier statement that Canada must make a stand to oppose this blatant violation of human rights and dignity. While Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, as the terrorist commander-in-chief, continues to provoke the Canadian government on the botched helicopter deal first quarter this year, we carry on with greater resoluteness our call to end state fascism. Should anyone there to better understand world history and geopolitics, it is Duterte and his ilk. The revolutionary heritage of the Filipino mass movement has nowhere to go but to greater heights.
As overseas Filipino youth, we are deeply grateful for their sacrifices for basic social services in the countryside–the right to land, right to health and the right to education. These are the heroes our fellow youth should emulate. Let us all become worthy heirs to their legacy half-century in the making and still standing, not cowering in fear.