Miyerkules, Hunyo 25, 2008

Popoy, the pragmatic Leninist

Popoy, the pragmatic Leninist

(Published in the letter-to-the-editor section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, February 14, 2001, p. A10.)

He has been a "bad boy" to many, even to his closest "friends." I remember one of his stories about a clash between activists and street toughies mobilized by then Caloocan mayor, the old Asistio. It was a rout, but the youthful activists led by Ka Popoy stood their ground and earned the admiration and respect of the "Pasistios." This image of the person does transcend a character of toughness and ruthlessness, which earned him enemies and admirers alike. Up to the end of his life, this would be of his undoing.

Another of his stories related Lean Alejandro's remark about this man's character. According to Lean, Popoy would really attract adversaries because of his sharp mind and uncanny ideas, expressed in a tough-lashing manner. He was second to none in ideological struggles. Only Jose Maria Sison could put the young "Leninist" in place. His peers conspired to curtail his vast political and organizational clout in the party. He was a revolutionary maverick, defying the official line and policies in pursuit of his beliefs and convictions. One of his favorite inspirational phrases was Lenin's "singleness of purpose."

He writes well enough. De Quiros and Quijano would envy his thoughts and command of language. Palanca awardees would be pretenders compared to this man's masterpieces.

But more than anything else, he is a Leninist, a pragmatic one, that is. He dreams of taking power for and in behalf of the working class, and would find every way and use all means at his disposal to achieve this lifelong goal. He does not rely on personal appeal and friendship. In fact, he lost all his senior cadres who bolted his party after serious disagreements in the organization, and he did not even bother to win them back. He developed the urban partisan warfare in combination with the open mass struggles. He conceived of the open revolutionary advocacy of the working class. He even used manipulation and buying-out tactics in local electoral politics. For him, nothing is sacred, nothing is holy. Everything is swept under the rush of progress and change. Whatever the cost, whatever suits his ends.

Until the end, I remain a student and an admirer.

If there is anyone who could turn this country upside down, he could.

I was not surprised at all with his death. But I sincerely mourn his passing, and I shed tears for his mother. - DENNIS B. MENDIOLA, 093 San Lorenzo Ruiz Compound, Magsaysay St., Manggahan, 1611 Pasig City

1 komento:

DennisM ayon kay ...

Nice to see this LOI of mine republished and translated to Filipino...12 years. The revolutionary Left continues to miss an ardent defender of the working class, and the progenitor of the open revolutionary Filipino socialist working class movement in the present era.