Huwebes, Hulyo 2, 2009

Comrades remember Ka Popoy Lagman (2002, PhilStar)

Comrades remember Ka Popoy Lagman
(The Philippine Star) Updated February 07, 2002

Exactly a year after he was gunned down by four assassins inside the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City, the family, comrades and friends of slain labor leader Filemon "Popoy" Lagman gathered at the spot where he fell to remember him.

They also criticized the Philippine National Police for its failure to find his killers. "It is ironic that in your life you relentlessly campaigned for justice for the disadvantaged and the oppressed," said a statement from his family read by former Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, "but in death, you yourself are denied justice."

About 50 close friends, relatives and former comrades held a wreath-laying ceremony yesterday at Bahay ng Alumni inside the UP Campus right at the spot where he was gunned down exactly a year ago. He was 47.

The Lagman family and members of the labor movement also announced the establishment of a foundation to honor the memory of Ka Popoy and his brother Herman, an activist during the Martial Law days who disappeared without any trace after he was abducted by military agents.

His brother Edcel told the audience during the solemn ceremony yesterday that their 81-year-old mother Cecilia, is honored to have lost two noble sons for a noble cause. "Nana is a strong-willed mother," he said, paying tribute to their mother, who sat nearby in a wheelchair, teary eyed.

His former comrades in the underground also issued a statement extolling his contributions to the labor movement. Patricio Ramirez, spokesperson for the underground Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino (PMP) which he helped found, also warned that "justice will be served in due time."

"The revolutionary movement," he said, " has its own methods of identifying and punishing the gunmen and mastermind of Ka Popoy’s assassination. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. " The fallen labor leader was the founding secretary general of the PMP, a shadowy group working for a worker-led revolution.

Wilson Fortaleza, national president of the militant party-list group Sanlakas, said his colleagues in the labor movement will continue to work for the ideals he lived and died for. – Romel Bagares

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