By Edcal Lagman
Wednesday, 06 February 2008 00:00
Ka Popoy Lagman would have been 55 years old on March 17. But now he is ageless. He belongs to the ages as long as there are abusive capitalists and deprived workers; uncaring governments and neglected citizens; super rich few and impoverished multitudes.
There are overriding reasons why Popoy is not really dead.
He is alive with toiling underpaid workers in factories; with vigilant union members in picket lines; with crusading activists in rallies and demonstrations; with nameless struggling occupants of informal habitats.
Ka Popoy is also alive monitoring and identifying corrupt and inept labor arbiters and commissioners in the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) as well as in the chambers and salas of errant and biased judges and justices.
Ka Popoy is also alive as a zealous sentinel watching lawmakers, policy makers, bureaucrats and government executives who perpetuate inequities and discrimination against the marginalized and disadvantaged sectors of society.
Ka Popoy is likewise alive in the boardrooms of corporate interests and in the conclaves of the power elite as he ceaselessly guards against continuing anti-labor policies and anti-poor agenda.
Ka Popoy indeed lives on as long as the advocacies he espoused and fought for on the full protection to labor and the marginalized do not find fruition.
It is lamentable that the black propaganda against Ka Popoy preceded him. He was basically a man of peace. He did not carry a gun, neither had he pulled a trigger. He did not have bodyguards. To him, strikes were the last resort. He preferred settling labor disputes on the bargaining table where he had achieved numerous meaningful and productive collective bargaining agreements acceptable to both labor and capital.
Today, the assassins and masterminds in the killing of Ka Popoy Lagman have not been apprehended, possibly they will never be. But they are not free. They are handcuffed by their guilt. They are prisoners of the government’s continuing culpable neglect, even furtive complicity.
Ka Popoy, tuloy ang laban!