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In Honor of Ernesto Popoy Valencia
By Jose Maria Sison
Chairman
International Network for Philippine Studies
1 February 2007

I wish to express sincerest condolences to the family of Ernesto Popoy Valencia and join his comrades and friends in honoring him for his achievements as a patriotic, anti-imperialist and democratic journalist, economist, teacher and activist. His best works inspire us to fight for the national and democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people.

I have always been deeply grateful to him for having published Philippine Crisis and Revolution (the original title of Philippine Society and Revolution) in 1970 when he was editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian. He made the work available to the thousands of students at a time they were in social ferment and were in urgent need of revolutionary enlightenment and direction.

I have admired Popoy for making the Philippine Collegian and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines as major instruments of the student movement in the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and the general upsurge of the mass movement from 1970 onwards. He did everything he could to help educate and activate his generation along the general line of the Filipino people's struggle for national liberation and democracy.

I came to know much about Popoy throughout the 1970s through his fellow members of Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan who became my comrades in the revolutionary underground. They spoke highly of him. They were grateful for the support that he extended to them. He was elated by the revolutionary work of his friends and he deeply grieved the martyrdom of those close to him.

In the early 1980s, while I was still under military detention, I was happy to read the research article of an accomplished economist like Popoy, showing the extent of landlordism and proving that the Philippine economy was still semi-feudal. I considered his article important because it served to counter the false notion that the foreign loan-dependent big comprador economic program of the Marcos fascist regime had turned the Philippines into a highly urbanized and industrial capitalist country.

He published his article before Julie and I could finish our own joint work on the Philippine mode of production against the attempts to mislead people about the character of the Philippine economy and to undermine the political line of national democratic revolution against foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

Because of his firm anti-imperialist and anti-feudal stand and his clear understanding of the Philippine economy, the Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines invited Popoy to be a consultant. He readily agreed and contributed greatly to the outlining and initial writing of the NDFP Draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms

We hope that our testimony in honor of Popoy can help to define the legacy that he has bequeathed to his people. He had a tender soul and was troubled by the unkind world that he lived in but he sought to understand it and welcomed the revolutionary efforts to change it. ###

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