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By Jose Maria Sison & Julieta de Lima

We recall the memory of Johannes Barrozo and give tribute to him as a close comrade, a Filipino patriot and a revolutionary martyr and hero.

In his short but meaningful life, he contributed the most that he could to the people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy against the US-directed Marcos fascist dictatorship and made the supreme sacrifice by suffering martyrdom in the hands of the enemy.

We came to know him well while he served as a young cadre in the research and communications unit of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines. He worked with us closely from 1974 up to the time that an intelligence unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines arrested, tortured and murdered him in 1975.

He had come from the Student Christian Movement and was recommended to us by the National Liaison Office and the Manila-Rizal Party Committee in 1975. Before we met him, he had a track record of being an outstanding mass activist and cadre.

He was highly motivated. He was deeply committed to the revolutionary cause. He was intelligent, resourceful, energetic and productive. He carried out his tasks with competence and enthusiasm.

We trusted our lives with him. Among his most important tasks were his frequent travel between our underground houses in Nueva Ecija and Manila. Like the other comrades with him when he was arrested, he refused to tell the enemy intelligence personnel where we were. Thus they murdered him along with the other comrades.

Those arrested with Johannes were Rosendo Flores, Nenita Evangelista-Luneta and her small child. The enemy unit that arrested them and eventually murdered them was headed by then Major Miguel Aure of the 5th CSU of the Philippine Constabulary, assisted by Lt. Rodolfo Aguinaldo and others.

In our effort to trace them, we learned that they were first brought to the Cabanatuan City jail. We had friends who interviewed witnesses to this. We also learned that the 5th CSU, took them away. While Dante Buscayno was in prison, Lt. Rodolfo Aguinaldo boasted to him in 1985 that the arresting unit had murdered Johannes and his companions in 1975.

The ruling system, from Aquino to the present, has failed to investigate the case of Comrade Johannes Barrozo and bring out the truth about him and the comrades arrested with him. An investigation into their arrest and disappearance should have become easier after the fall of Marcos. But the post-Marcos regimes have allowed the coverup of the criminal liabilities of Marcos and his military henchmen.

It is the duty of the entire people and the forces of the national democratic movement to recognize and put on historical record the revolutionary service, heroism and martyrdom of Comrade Johannes Barrozo.

We perpetuate his memory to show gratitude for his contribution to the revolutionary struggle of the people and to emulate his meaningful and exemplary life and deeds. #

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