Revolutionary women’s mass organization Makabayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA) offers our highest salute to Fidel V. Agcaoili, a revolutionary, internationalist and true harbinger of just and lasting peace for the oppressed and exploited, whose life and selfless struggle for the good of the Filipino masses serves as a burning flame of revolutionary inspiration to persevere in the struggle for the liberation of women and all oppressed peoples.
As we mourn his sudden demise, we offer our deepest condolences and tightest embrace to Ka Fidel’s wife Chit and their family and relatives, his friends, Filipino compatriots in his political exile, and close comrades in the international communist movement who have witnessed and shared in Ka Fidel’s passion to live a life offered for the struggle to engender a society where no woman or man in his home country or elsewhere in the world is denied of living a life of dignity, justice and peace.
Ka Fidel was a true fighter and patriot who bravely walked away from a life of comfort and made personal sacrifices in order to tread the path of revolutionary struggle. From his early years as a student activist in the national democratic movement through the Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines UP (SCAUP) and later on in his participation in the founding of the Kabataang Makabayan in 1964, to carrying out tasks in the establishment and development of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and then later in his life in the underground revolutionary movement, Ka Fidel would rather take risks and make hard sacrifices than be a silent witness to the suffering of the Filipino people under the Marcos fascist dictatorship.
That Ka Fidel endured arrest and severe physical and mental torture in his more than a decade of detention—the longest experienced by a political prisoner during the Marcos regime—and came out of it with unyielding strength and dedication is truly a testament to Ka Fidel’s indomitable proletarian spirit.
Ka Fidel’s solid determination to further advance the cause of the Filipino people placed him firmly in the glorious history of the Filipino people’s struggle. He occupied roles and performed specific tasks, paved the way for new people’s organizations and chartered new paths of struggle to advance the interests of the Filipino masses. Upon his release from detention, Ka Fidel contributed extensively in establishing human rights organizations Samahan ng Ex-Detainess Laban sa Detensyon at Para sa Amnestiya (SELDA) and Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND), as well as organize victims of human rights violations in a class suit against the dictator Marcos. Upon the overthrow of Marcos and during the first Aquino regime, Ka Fidel helped lay the ground for peace negotiations, while also helping establish organizing the Partido ng Bayan for the 1987 senatorial elections as its Chairman.
When conditions for him to remain in the Philippines became harsher and the possibility of being captured or executed by the ruling regime became more imminent, Ka Fidel made the sacrifice to leave the country in 1988. He nonetheless continued with the same determination and painstaking work for the cause of the Filipino people while in political exile in Europe.
For the past three decades, Ka Fidel contributed in the strengthening of the revolutionary movement’s international work and helped lay the ground and strengthen the movement of compatriots abroad, all the while performing key roles in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and in the drafting and finalization of major agreements.
His latest role as the Chairman of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, while rife with twists and turns brought about by peace spoilers and militarist saboteurs in the Duterte regime, is nevertheless an important stone marker in the history of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations as the heart of the peace negotiations is laid on the table with the Comprehensive Agreement on Socioeconomic Reforms (CASER) embodying the hopes for genuine and far-reaching change and lasting peace by the multitude of Filipinos coming from the historically oppressed and exploited classes.
Ka Fidel may no longer be with us physically when the time comes that the toiling Filipino women and men finally succeed in winning a world of freedom and liberation from the shackles of oppression. But Ka Fidel, together with other good and valiant sons and daughters of the revolution before him, has left us with an inspiration that exceeds far more than a lifetime. We celebrate and exalt the life and struggle of the likes of Ka Fidel by advancing and persevering further in the struggle to liberate the Filipino people from imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism!
Long live Ka Fidel Agcaoili!
Long live the Philippine revolution!