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Comrade Armando Teng Inspires the Current and Future Generations

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples" Struggle
College of Arts & Letters, University of the Philippines
Claro Mayo Recto Hall
27 June 2006

Dear comrades and friends:

I am deeply pleased to be with you today on the occasion of the launching of Armando, the biography of Comrade Armando Teng. I convey warmest greetings to all of you, especially to Comrade Ada Teng and her children.

I thank the Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center for inviting me to give further tribute to Comrade Teng and the author of the biography, Jun Cruz Reyes, for including my previous tribute in the book. I congratulate the author for his success in writing the book and the center for publishing it.

The book is an important instrument for etching in the memory of the Filipino people the life, struggles, sacrifices and achievements of the outstanding Filipino patriot and communist revolutionary Comrade Teng and for inspiring the current and future generations of Filipino revolutionaries.

His sterling qualities and achievements are worthy of emulation. He is a brilliant model of the communist revolutionary not only in the course of the ongoing national democratic revolution of the new type against foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism but also in the future socialist revolution.

He avidly read and studied the works of the great communists and the literature of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). He used these to illumine the way for the units and organs to which he belonged. He expressed his views freely in meetings and he was disciplined in implementing decisions.

He was strict with others regarding study and work but he was even stricter with himself and was always eager to help others advance. He could criticize others but he could take criticism from them and could criticize himself. When he struggled with himself or with others, he was always motivated by the desire to do the work better, get better results and rise to a new and higher level of unity and accomplishment.

He became a genuine communist revolutionary by working for the interest of the working class and the broad masses of the people through relentless struggle against tremendous odds in the objective situation and against the threats to life, limb and liberty from the enemy. Problems did not daunt him. He always regarded them as challenges that drive us to solve them and give us the opportunities to become creative and go forward..

He joined the Kabataang Makabayan during the First Quarter Storm of 1970. He became a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines in 1971. He was assigned to the CPP branch at the University of the Philippines and eventually became the branch secretary and member of the Party district committee of Quezon City-Marikina.

He became a revolutionary at a time when the chronic crisis of the ruling system of big comprador and landlords was unprecedentedly grave and the Marcos regime clearly took the path of fascism by suspending the writ of habeas corpus in 1971 and declaring martial law in 1972.

He persevered in the revolutionary struggle by conscientiously studying Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought and applying it on the history and circumstances of the Filipino people. He worked hard to implement the general line of new democratic revolution through protracted people's war.

As a member and eventually as secretary of the Manila-Rizal Regional Party Committee, he devoted himself to strengthening the Party organization and the revolutionary underground among the workers and educated youth. Under the direction of the Central Committee, he determinedly developed Party cadres and advanced mass activists for work in the New People's Army and among the peasant masses.

He was arrested in 1974 when the enemy carried out wide scale arrests in an attempt to destroy the Party Central Committee and the underground in the national capital region. Emboldened by being able to arrest a number of central cadres, the enemy used torture on political prisoners in an attempt to locate me. Comrade Teng stood firm against torture, exposed it and condemned those who betrayed the revolutionary movement.

In 1976 he escaped from the Bicutan detention center and was assigned to the Bicol countryside. He participated in the recovery and restrengthening of the guerrilla fronts in Bicol. After my arrest in November 1977, I ceased to have direct personal knowledge of what he achieved. I rely on the public tribute to him from the Central Committee of the CPP and from the personal testimonies of comrades who have known him and worked with him from 1977 onwards.

I learned that In 1979, he was diagnosed as having a serious kidney ailment and was reassigned to the urban area to perform physically less straining duties and to get medical treatment and the care of his family. As soon as he recovered from his illness, he went back to the countryside to do more demanding work.

He became secretary of the Party committee of the Southern Tagalog-Proper. He also became a member of the Southern Luzon Commission. He made major contributions in pushing the expansion of the mass base and developing guerrilla warfare in both Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions.

I also learned that he was elected member of the CPP Central Committee in its 1985 Plenum and that he became a member of the National Instruction Bureau, from 1986 to 1988. It was during this period that he reviewed and read the works of the great communist and publications of the Party to hone himself and other comrades on the correct stand, viewpoint and method of contending with the subjectivist and "Left" and Right opportunist currents running within the CPP.

According to the published tribute of the CPP Central Committee, he took active part in reversing the anti-informer hysteria in Southern Tagalog from November 1988 onwards. Then, he led the work within the region to criticize, repudiate and rectify such grave error and the accompanying crimes, overcome these and their harmful consequences, avoid commtting reactive wrongs and rebuild the Party and the revolutionary movement.

The CPP Central Committee praises Comrade Teng highly for actively participating in the 1992 plenum of the CPP Central Committee that decided the Second Great Rectification Movement. He led the rectification movement in both Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions in concurrent positions as secretary of the Southern Luzon Commission and the Southern Tagalog Party Committee.

He was known for his excellence in uniting the CPP rank and file in upholding revolutionary principles, taking the correct line and combating errors and erroneous tendencies. He exerted great efforts to help comrades who lagged behind or committed mistakes. But he gave up those who refused to learn lessons and proved themselves incorrigible, despite his painstaking efforts.

Under his leadership, the CPP and the armed revolutionary movement in the Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions made tremendous gains and contributed significantly to the nationwide advance of the revolution. The revolutionary forces in these regions were exemplary in waging extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. To this day, they continue to grow in strength and advance.

The Arroyo regime has considered the Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions as prime targets of military campaigns of suppression against the civilian population and of extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances under Oplan Bantay Laya and has committed the most brutal and dastardly violations of human rights. But the revolutionary forces and the people become more outraged and intensify their resistance. They manifest the successful work done by Comrade Teng.

The attacks of the enemy do not intimidate the people and the revolutionary forces but incite them to fight even more fiercely and step up all forms of struggle against the enemy. They carry on the fighting spirit of Comrade Teng. His brilliant achievements in revolutionary work and struggle are incorporated and integrated in a growing revolutionary movement. The victory of the Philippine revolution will ultimately be the best homage to Comrade Teng. ###

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