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Greetings to the Grand Reunion of Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan

By Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson Emeritus
First Quarter Storm Movement
Founding Chairman, Kabataang Makabayan
February 4, 2006

I am deeply pleased to be requested by veteran militants of the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) who are in the First Quarter Storm Movement (FQSM) to send a message to the grand reunion of the SDK and commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Diliman Commune. I wish therefore to convey warmest greetings to the SDK on such an occasion.

The grand reunion can celebrate SDK's brilliant record of activism in the service of the Filipino people, honor the martyrs and heroes from the ranks of SDK and renew the SDK commitment to persevere in the struggle for national freedom and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes.

I hope that the veteran militants of the SDK increase their participation in the First Quarter Storm Movement as a way of preserving and carrying forward the revolutionary legacy of SDK, working closely with Kabataang Makabayan (KM) and other patriotic and progressive organizations in the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and in further revolutionary developments.

The revolutionary elements of SDK like Comrades Ellecer "Boyong" Cortez and Antonio "Tony Hil" Hilario adopted a positive attitude towards the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the establishment of the New People's Army. In the second half of 1969, they became disappointed with some of the elements who had conceived of SDK as a break away from Kabataang Makabayan (KM).

They approached Comrade Carlos "Ka Charlie" de Rosario for reconciliation with the KM. He reported to us about the approach and we immediately assigned him and others to pursue the discussions for reconciliation. The KM agreed that the identity of SDK be retained despite the insistence of some KM officers to dissolve SDK. Towards the end December 1969, I prepared a message of greetings to the SDK on the occasion of its founding congress in January 1970.

The reconciliation of KM and SDK was accomplished on the basis of revolutionary principles and the line of people's democratic revolution. There were also favorable circumstances like siblings, close friends and sweethearts belonging to both the KM and SDK. Comrade Antonio Tagamolila promoted mutual understanding between the two youth organizations when he published in the Philippine Collegian "Philippine Crisis and Revolution", the mimeographed version of Philippine Society and Revolution.

I am proud to have taken a direct hand in the reconciliation of SDK and KM. This came on time for the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and the Diliman Commune of 1971. These two outstanding youth organizations cooperated closely in the mass movement even as they competed in a friendly manner to arouse, organize and mobilize the Filipino youth.

With the advantage of being the older organization, the KM had more chapters than the SDK in schools, urban poor and rural communities on a nationwide scale. But at one point in 1970, we had to urge the KM to do better in the University of the Philippines because the KM U.P. Diliman chapter had only a few scores as members while the SDK chapter had hundreds of members. The SDK played an outstanding role in the Diliman Commune because it had a strong chapter in UP Diliman.

Jointly and separately, the KM and SDK contributed greatly to the resounding success of the FQS. From the great number of youth mobilized in FQS, thousands of conscious and dedicated mass activists emerged along the general line of the national democratic movement in 1970. Hundreds of proletarian revolutionary cadres arose, ready to join the protracted people's war for national liberation and democracy.

The SDK has contributed significantly and brilliantly to the advance of the new democratic revolution from 1970 onwards. It has earned a highly respected position in Philippine history. In the honor roll are martyrs and heroes who first received their revolutionary education and training from SDK. To this day there are SDK veterans who continue to play a vital role as cadres of the armed revolutionary movement and the legal democratic movement. ###

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