In Honor of Ernesto Popoy Valencia
By Jose Maria Sison
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. ###