In the days leading up to the 50th anniversary of the NDF, we will highlight some of the many heroic martyrs of the Filipino people in this series of PAGDAKILA. These activists and revolutionaries have given the highest sacrifice to serve the national democratic people’s movement in achieving national and social liberation. As a solidarity organization to the Filipino people in struggle, we honor these heroes and engulf ourselves with their great revolutionary spirit as we continue to support and join their struggle for liberation.
Ka Fidel was a true Filipino patriot who served the Filipino masses and the cause of the national democratic revolution, from his time as a youth during the establishment of the Kabataang Makabayan (Patriotic Youth) to his role as the chair of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) negotiating panel in the peace talks between the NDFP and the Philippine government, a position he held from 2016 until his death on July 23, 2020.
During the martial law years Ka Fidel survived physical and mental torture as the longest-held political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. A true organizer and activist, he did not let the over ten years he spent in prison break his spirit – in fact, he galvanized his fellow prisoners and former detainees by forming SELDA, an organization of current and former political detainees advocating for the rights and freedoms of all political prisoners.
One of Ka Fidel’s greatest legacies is his impact on and inspiration for the youth, the next generation of activists militantly taking up the torch of revolution, both amongst Filipino youth and those in solidarity with the FIlipino struggle. This is why for so many he became known as Tatay (Dad), or Tats, for his care and mentorship towards them. For Thomas Hofland of Revolutionaire Eenheid and Samidoun Netherlands, “he is a great example for us and we won’t let his banner drop…We will pick it up and keep on marching, together with thousands of people around the world inspired by Ka Fidel.”
Long live all martyrs! Long live Ka Fidel! Youth, carry on Ka Fidel’s revolutionary legacy!