By Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
June 3, 2018
Dear comrades and friends,
In this memorial meeting, we reiterate our most heartfelt condolences to the family of Comrade Jose (Ka Pepe) Ebora Luneta and to all his comrades and friends in the Philippines and abroad. His lifelong struggle, sacrifices and successes in the service to the oppressed and exploited people console all of us.
He was born on December 12, 1944 and passed away on May 1, 2018 in Bielefeld, Germany, at the age of 73. On the basis of his lifelong revolutionary work and struggle, we honor Comrade Jose Ebora Luneta as an outstanding proletarian revolutionary fighter and a selfless patriot and servant of the Filipino people for more than 55 years.
He came from a middle class family in Batangas City but chose to take the class stand, viewpoint and method of the revolutionary proletariat. He was a consistent honor student in grade school and high school. He graduated from the University of the Philippines (Diliman) with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with honors in the early 1960s.
In 1963 he became a mass activist of the national democratic movement and joined the study circles on Marxism-Leninism and the people´s democratic revolution. He participated in mass protest actions of students, in urban and rural community mass work in Manila and Central Luzon.
He was personally close to Julie and me as we often worked together. He was highly intelligent, humble and caring. He was serious at work and jovial in periods of relaxation. He was patient and interesting in explaining principles, policies and the line of action on issues,
He excelled in education and cultural work. He was soon recruited into the Marxist-Leninist core group within the old Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI) and became active in preparatory work in the founding of Kabataang Makabayan (KM).
He was a leading co-founder of the KM and was elected member of its National Council in 1964. He continued to excel in education work and he was responsible for the education of KM cadres and mass activists in Southern Luzon.
He was active in trade union work and in organizing seminars for workers under Lapiang Manggagawa (LM). He was a member of LM and its successor Socialist Party of the Philippines, which was established in 1965.He participated in the preparation and founding of the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism in 1966.
He participated in preparing the mass actions against the Manila Summit staged by US President Lyndon B. Johnson and his right-hand man Ferdinand Marcos to round up support for the US war of aggression against Vietnam in October 24, 1966. He was a prime mover of the October 24th Movement which sought to spread the line of new democratic revolution by deploying the KM activists for mass work among the workers and peasants.
He taught philosophy, history and Spanish at the Lyceum of the Philippines in Batangas City. He helped to establish the KM chapter in the said school from where members were recruited who later became revolutionary cadres in Southern Luzon. He recruited many of his former classmates, academic colleagues, relatives and friends to the national democratic mass movement and to the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI).
He was a key member of the Marxist-Leninist group that broke away from the revisionist CPPI in April 1966. He was responsible for the translation of the CPP founding documents and ML documents in Filipino. He had many noms de guerre, depending on his mission or area of work. But his favorite was Tomas Gunte, a scramble of the name Mao Tsetung.
In early 1968, he was sent to China in order to assist in the Filipino section of Radio Peking and stayed in Beijing until the last quarter of 1969. He earned the respect of Chinese comrades for his diligent and efficient work. He was able to observe and study the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution led by Comrade Mao and the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party
In absentia he was a delegate to the founding congress of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on December 26, 1968 and was elected a member of the CPP Central Committee and the Political Bureau. He returned to the Philippines in the latter part of 1969. He joined the Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the CPP.
He translated from the Chinese original the song ¨Ang Masa¨. This spread like wildfire among the mass activists during the First Quarter Storm of 1970. He took special interest in translation and publishing work at the Central Publishing House. He stayed where ever the CPH was located, be it in Capas, Baguio, Dagupan, Angeles or Talavera.
He also took his turn in field work to supervise the early beginnings of the Party and revolutionary movement in several regions such as Isabela in 1969-71 in Cagayan Valley and in Southern Tagalog region in 1972.
When the EC/CC of the CPP held office in the Sierra Madre forest region of Isabela from 1970-72, we conducted political-military training of many hundreds of cadres and mass activists who were continuously deployed for expansion work in various regions in the country. We were close competitors in rifle marksmanship. But we were close cooperators in bouts of singing revolutionary songs and folk love songs.
He became the General Secretary of the CPP in June 1971 after the arrest of his predecessor. He participated in the founding of the National Democratic Front on April 24, 1973 in Baguio City.
He participated in special military training in 1973-74 on the sea coast of La Union. After the disruption of the work here, he reverted to work with the EC/CC in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija up to 1975.
He was able to enlighten his closest relatives, especially his brothers and sisters, and encouraged them to participate in the national democratic movement. Maxima, Romeo, Domingo, Francisco and Ernesto suffered arrest, detention and other forms of oppression during the Marcos fascist dictatorship. The wife Nenita Evangelista and five-year old daughter of his brother Franco were arrested in Cabanatuan City in 1975, together with others who became victims of forced disappearance.
Julie and I often stayed and worked with Ka Pepe in the same house, in the same forest camp or in the same area. It was always fun to work with him and to exchange jokes and songs with him during happy hours. Being the master singer, he tolerated my singing and even encouraged me to sing.
As a result of breaches of security by others after the November 1975 Plenum of the CC in Central Luzon, he was arrested in Malabon, Rizal in January 1976 while he was setting up his own office.
He and his comrades were detained and severely tortured in safehouses of the enemy military intelligence services until they were transferred to a detention center. He inspired his comrades to resist by telling them that they were fearless because they were selfless for the people.
He engaged in education work and the struggle in prison. He became chairman of the prison committee and helped many detainees obtain their release in cooperation with human rights organizations. He was able to escape from his prison guards when he was brought out for dental treatment in 1982.
He worked in the Ilocos-Mountain Province- Pangasinan region until 1984 and contributed to its development. He was transferred to the Southern Luzon Commission (SLC) and headed it as Party secretary from 1984 to 1989. He contributed significantly to the development of the Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions and the expansion work in the islands of Mindoro and Palawan under the SLC.
Like any cadre determined to fight the enemy and learn lessons from the process of fighting, he scored achievements and had his own share of errors and weaknesses. which he overcame through the process of criticism and self-criticism. In accordance with principles and the facts, he promptly admitted and activey corrected mistakes and shortcomings. Thus, his revolutionary merits far outweigh his demerits.
While he was in Mindoro island, a wrong decision based on a current of hysteria within the Party was taken in his absence by the Southern Tagalog Regional Committee in 1988. He was not impressed with the evidence presented but because he saw the decision as already taken by the majority, he was swayed and he lent further authority to implement the wrong decision.
When the Central Committee showed him the Correct Principles and Methods of Investigation, Prosecution and Trial and all the facts, he recognized the error and took an active part in rectifying it and apologizing to comrades and barrio people. His love for the people and the revolution inspired him to surmount tremendous odds and difficulties.
In 1990, he left the Philippines to undertake political work among overseas Filipinos and to help develop solidarity relations with other peoples. He used effectively his proficiency in languages (Pilipino, English, Spanish and Chinese).He transited through China and Libya. He assisted CPP and NDFP delegations in developing international relations. Eventually he proceeded to Germany to seek political asylum in 1994. From then on, he lived in Germany as a refugee.
He devoted himself to spreading information about the Filipino people´s struggle for national and social liberation and in developing solidarity between the Filipino people and the German people as well as other third world peoples who are refugees and migrant workers in Germany.
He was able to form associations of Filipino migrant workers and refugees in Oberhausen, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg and elsewhere in Germany and in the city of Luxembourg. He was a respected member of the German-Filipino Friendship Association. He was highly active in the KARAWANE, an association of refugees from the continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
He was in the staff of the CPP delegation to the Fourth International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO) in 1995 and in the subsequent international conferences and in the meetings and activities of the Joint Coordinating Group (JCG) of the ICMLPO.
Those in charge of his work in Germany as well as his German and non-German comrades and friends among communists and progressives, the overseas Filipino workers and refugees from various countries can give their testimonies.
In the memorial meeting held last May 21 in Bielefeld, his comrades and friends from various countries expressed their highest respect, love and gratitude for raising their revolutionary consciousness, militancy and sense of proletarian internationalism and solidarity among the oppressed peoples.
In the entire run of his life as proletarian revolutionary, he made numerous significant contributions to the growth in strength and advance of the CPP and the people’s democratic revolution in the Philippines and to the development of proletarian internationalist relations and solidarity relations with the peoples of the world.
We are resolved to perpetuate and propagate the memory and legacy of Ka Pepe. These will continue to inspire us and future generations. All his achievements and his exemplary deeds have become part and parcel of the growing people’s democratic revolution in the Philippines and the resurgent world proletarian revolution.###