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A Salute to Comrade Eden Marcellana and Comrade Eddie Gumanoy, Martyrs and Heroes of the People

By Juliet de Lima and Jose Maria Sison

April 25, 2003

We would like to extend our heartfelt condolence to the spouses, children, parents, siblings and other relatives, as well as the colleagues in the struggle as well as all the friends of Comrade Eden Marcellana and Comrade Eddie Gumanoy.

We are one with you in saluting them as martyrs and heroes of the Filipino people. They offered their lives to the struggle to enable the workers and peasants to overcome the exploitation and oppression of the imperialists and their big comprador and big landlord underlings.

We admire Cde. Eden's achievements in defending human rights and upholding a just peace through the resolution of the basic social problems. She hailed from the lower stratum of the peasantry in the southern part of Quezon province. She only reached second year high school in her formal education, but she worked hard to attain knowledge of human rights through study and thoroughgoing practice in the defense of the rights of the people.

We admire Cde. Eddie Gumanoy's achievements in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the peasants and rural workers, in pushing for genuine and thoroughgoing land reform and in exposing the various reactionary schemes to frustrate the aspirations of peasants to acquire land. He was forced to evacuate his own family because of threats from the enemy.

Even though he faced hardship in earning a living and had a low formal educational attainment, he worked hard to attain knowledge of land reform through diligent study and actions for the welfare of the peasantry.

Cde. Eden and Cde. Eddie reached the most responsible positions of their respective organizations, because they upheld firmly and militantly the general line of national democracy, because they humbly, tirelessly and completely served the Filipino masses, and because they were fearless against the enemy. The enemy is completely ferocious in Mindoro because the US imperialists and their Arroyo puppet regime have a particular mission for the likes of Colonel Palparan to kill, maim and crush in the mad attempt to destroy the revolutionary movement.

We are deeply saddened by the violent murder of Comrade Eden and Comrade Eddie. Their lives were cut short at the peak of their youth and vigor. They have already contributed much, and they could have contributed much, much more to advancing the struggle for national freedom and democracy. Their murder in the hands of the military which is the instrument of oppression and exploitation inspires deep anger. We can avenge their deaths and uphold justice only by thoroughly expanding the democratic movement and struggle.

Let us turn our grief and rage into courage and strength. Comrade Eden and Comrade Eddie are our inspiration in struggle. Even though Cde. Eden was only 31 and Cde. Eddie was only 36, their lives were meaningful and productive. Let us emulate their steadfastness, enthusiasm and heroism. Let us do all we can in the various forms of struggle to realize justice for them and the Filipino people for whom they fought.

In the face of the worsening crisis and violence of US imperialism and the Arroyo puppet regime, it is only just for the revolutionary forces and the broad masses to raise the level of struggle in various forms. The various legal forms of struggle, including peace negotiations, are important but not enough to liberate the Filipino people from oppression and exploitation. ###

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