From Prof. Jose Maria Sison and Julie de Lima
We are close comrades-in-arms of Manuel (Maning) Toh, whom we fondly call by either one of his two noms de guerre, Ka Jess and Lolo. We are deeply saddened to learn of his death and we share the sense of loss and grief of his family to whom we address most heartfelt condolences. At the same time, we are comforted by his revolutionary work and achievements in the service of the Filipino people.
We first came to know about Ka Maning as a revolutionary intellectual and journalist through Comrade Antonio Zumel, former president of the National Press Club and other comrades in the Manila press and the NDF Prepcom. He was an editor of the Chinese Commercial News and together with the Yuyitung brothers (Rizal and Quintin), he was persecuted by the Marcos regime.
We worked together in the revolutionary underground during the Marcos fascist dictatorship. A number of times we stayed together and worked in the same house or in the same vicinity. Ka Maning was our link to a number of Chinese or Chinese-Filipino comrades and sympathizers whom he knew very well and who gave support to the revolutionary struggle.
His basic Party collective was with Chinese-Filipino comrades who came from Panay and resided in Manila as well as with those in Caloocan and Quezon City. Together they put out an underground publication in Chinese, East Wind, which was mainly addressed to the Chinese-Filipino youth. They also contributed their technical skills and facilities to the revolutionary movement.
Ka Maning was a good swimmer and at one time became an instructor in scuba diving to a special unit of the New People’s Army. We saw him often when we lived in the same vicinity and discussed his work. Whenever we needed to go deeper in the underground for a number of weeks, he was always ready to make the necessary arrangements.
Ka Maning left the Philippines when the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines directed him to live and work in Sabah in 1976. He eventually went to live in China. Since after our release from the fascist prison, he had kept in touch with us through comrades and mutual friends and sometimes by telephone.
Ka Maning lived a full and meaningful life. He leaves to the current and future generations an inspiring legacy of wise and courageous struggle in the service of the people. He has contributed significantly to the revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people. His contributions continue to live through the advance of the Philippine revolution. ###