Communist Party of the Philippines
The entire revolutionary movement mourns the passing of Comrade Fidel V. Agcaoili on July 23, 2020 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He was 75 years old. The Central Committee extends its condolences to his wife, Chit, their children and grandchildren, all organizations of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), members of the NDFP negotiating panel, and to all of Ka Fidel’s relatives and friends.
Ka Fidel is a hero of the Filipino revolution. It is but proper to pay him the highest tribute. In line with this, we declare August 8 2020, Ka Fidel’s 76th birthday, as National Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili.
The Central Committee calls on all revolutionary forces, progressives, patriotic and democratic forces, migrants and other oppressed sectors, political detainees, as well as various anti-imperialist organizations and personalities across the globe to conduct tribute meetings and other activities wherever they may be to commemorate and celebrate Ka Fidel’s life of struggle and service to the people and revolution.
For five decades, Ka Fidel gave blood and sweat, and time and talent to advance the Filipino people’s great cause to achieve national and social liberation, as part of advancing the international working class movement for socialism and communism.
Ka Fidel was part of the generation of young Filipinos in the early 1960s who challenged the dominant anti-communist and counterrevolutionary ideology peddled by the US and the reactionary state. He was part of the movement that reignited the people’s spirit of patriotism and democracy and pursued the path of activism and service to the people. He joined the SCAUP (Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines) and helped found the Kabataang Makabayan in 1964. He turned his back on a life of comfort and luxury. He contributed all he could to rouse and mobilize the Filipino people.
Ka Fidel is a steadfast member of the Communist Party of the Philippines. He was elected to the Central Committee in 1970 and performed crucial tasks in the then newly founded Party. For more than five decades, Ka Fidel firmly upheld the Party’s ideological, political and organization line. He was among the stalwarts of the first and second great rectification movement.
He performed various tasks in building the Party and the armed strength of the New People’s Army across the country. Ka Fidel represented leading Party organs in its relations with communist parties in other countries. In the face of sacrifices, he stood firm to perform both big and small tasks.
During martial law, he boldly confronted the dangers of fighting Marcos’ dictatorial rule. Ka Fidel was arrested in 1974, together with his wife and their then two children. As a political prisoner, he stood firm in the face of intense torture, both physical and mental. He was freed in 1985, after being imprisoned for nearly 11 years, the longest sentence suffered by a political prisoner under the fascist dictatorship, more than the sentence for rebellion under reactionary laws. While detained, Ka Fidel drew inspiration from the Filipino people’s struggles. He displayed militance, courage and tireless struggle against the Marcos dictatorship.
After being released from prison, Ka Fidel helped found the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) which was among the organizations that led the struggle to demand the release of hundreds of political prisoners. He also coordindated closely with and led various human rights organizations. To his last breath, he actively denounced the reactionary state for perpetrating abuses against people’s rights.
After the ouster of Marcos, Ka Fidel helped in preparations for peace negotiations with the Aquino regime in 1986 which was later derailed after the Mendiola massacre in January 1987. He also helped in founding the Partido ng Bayan (PnB) in 1986. Amid the bloody killing campaign of rival fascist factions in the AFP against progressive and democratic forces, he valiantly faced serious threats to his life by assuming the position of PnB chair after its first chairperson Rolando Olalia and his companion Leonor Alay-ay were killed in November 1986 by Enrile and Honasan’s troops in the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), followed by the assassination of Bayan secretary-general Leandro Alejandro in September 1987.
Facing death threats, Ka Fidel was compelled to seek refuge in Spain in 1988. There, he was employed by the Instituto de Estudios Politicos para América Latina y Africa (IEPALA). From Spain, Ka Fidel continued to perform various tasks to advance the welfare of the Filipino people.
In 1989, Ka Fidel became part of the NDFP Negotiating Panel upon the resumption of peace negotiations with the Aquino regime in the Netherlands. From 1992, he served as its vice chairperson and helped in forging and signing key agreements between the NDFP and the GRP including agreements which served as foundation and framework of peace negotiations which remain in effect until today. Ka Fidel headed the NDFP Human Rights Committee which actively promoted the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and exposed human rights violations perpetrated by the reactionary state forces.
Ka Fidel replaced Ka Louie as chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel in 2017. As officer in peace negotiations, Fidel was able to travel back to the Philippines for several times to consult with both NDFP and GRP officials. He was able to spend time with leading Party cadres, Red fighters and the revolutionary masses in NPA guerrilla fronts. Despite his age, he took efforts to trek through fields and mountain trails.
Ka Fidel also played a key role in representing the Party and NDFP in establishing friendly relations with other parties, organizations and movements across the globe. He firmly adhered to the basic principles of the Party and thoroughly used these in rousing the revolutionary proletarian spirit and building solidarity among all revolutionary and progressive forces that he got in touch with.
He also served as teacher and inspiration of migrant Filipino workers in building their organizations and participating in the Filipino revolution.
Ka Fidel is known as one of the pillars of the international anti-imperialist movement. He worked tirelessly to forge solidarity among peoples. He helped draw support for the peoples’ struggles in Palestine, Kurdistan, Turkey, Cuba, Bolivia, China, North Korea, Japan, India, Nepal, Libya and many others struggling against imperialism and for the right to national self-determination.
As a representative of the International Network for Philippine Studies, he played a key role in founding and broadening the International League of Peoples’ Struggle which is now the strongest and broadest anti-imperialist and democratic mass formation. It is now the leading bulwark of international solidarity of peoples around the world.
Ka Fidel is an exemplar of the revolutionary movement. He was always patient in explaining things and readily answered questions posed by mass media, activists, migrants and friends. He was always calm, and his position was always reasonable and deeply rooted in theory and history.
However, he can also be harsh especially in addressing those who oppress and exploit the people. His sharp statements exposed and criticized the lies peddled by reactionaries.
Ka Fidel is an ardent student and teacher of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. He was diligent in studying and applying theory to sharply analyze the Philippine and international situation. He never hesitated in sharing his insights, but he was always open to listen to other people’s opinions. He was always ready to accept criticism to rectify his errors and weaknesses.
People found it easy to get along with Ka Fidel, even new acquaintances. He loved to dish out jokes and also took them in stride. He always put the interests of the people first. He had a big heart for his comrades and was equally loved by them.
Ka Fidel’s countless contributions are thousands of strands woven into the broad fabric of the Filipino people’s struggle. The proletariat and the Filipino people consider him as their hero. His memory will always remain in the people’s hearts and will inspire them as they tread the difficult path of the national democratic and socialist revolutions.