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Much Ado About the Ara Mina Thing
Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal
National Spokesperson
Communist Party of the Philippines
4 March 2007

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has sunk so low in an effort at counterrevolutionary propaganda as it tried to make a big fuss about photos downloaded from Ka Joema Sison's own website showing him and Philippine actress Ara Mina, Jano Gibbs and other guests in a Christmas concert-party attended by the Filipino community in The Netherlands. Ka Joema and other NDFP leaders based in The Netherlands were invited as special guests in the affair and took time off their work for the rare opportunity to integrate with fellow Filipinos during the party and participate in the affair. Philippine ambassador Romeo Arguelles and other embassy officials were also present at the occasion.

In its effort to divert attention from the widespread condemnation of the AFP's spate of extrajudicial killings of activists and terrorizing of worker, urban poor and peasant communities, the military has been desperately looking for more issues to concoct and hurl against the revolutionary movement. But the AFP has evidently run out of valid issues and has resorted to scraping the bottom of the barrel by raising the non-issue of Ka Joema's attending a simple community affair of fellow Filipinos in The Netherlands. The concert-party was a simple social activity that alleviated Ka Joema and the other expatriate NDFP leaders' longing for things Filipino, at the very least. It also afforded them the opportunity to touch base with other Filipinos living abroad. Such an occasion was also certainly an opportunity to foster stronger solidarity among Filipino expatriates. As Ka Joema and other exiled NDFP leaders cannot come back to their home country in safety especially now with the upsurge of extrajudicial killings by the AFP, they are eager to talk with and be updated about issues and happenings in the Philippines from almost anybody from the country going to or passing by The Netherlands.

The AFP is trying hard to drive a wedge between Filipino revolutionary leaders abroad and revolutionaries in the homefront by making a hullabaloo about the whole thing and implying that Ka Joema and the other NDFP leaders have been so far removed from the rest of us, just for having joined these community activities. I am reminded of the time when veteran broadcaster Tia Dely Magpayo interviewed me on air back in the 1990s, after which we went on a duet, singing an old Filipino classic "Sa Lumang Simbahan." I believe we both had a good time and radio listeners, including a number of NPA guerrillas, Party cadres and the revolutionary masses, were entertained too.

Yes, many of us revolutionaries like to dance and sing and mingle with fellow Filipinos. If I could, I would certainly take the chance to watch Ara Mina's concerts too or join other community activities, time and security considerations permitting. I was no less a revolutionary for having sung with Tia Dely and the Philippine revolutionary movement has not been diminished because of it. Ka Joema has not lost any esteem from the revolutionary movement and has definitely not been isolated from the mass of Filipinos for having joined the same activities enjoyed by other members of the Filipino community abroad as well as other compatriots who are free to go around.

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