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4/2/2006 8:49:58 AM

Column title: Enquiry for Sunday, April 2
By: Demaree JB Raval (974 words)

By force of fierce thought

To the wide-eyed idealists at the dawn of a dictatorship in the early 70s, who managed to survive the repression under martial rule and lived on to see an equally repressive regime under the present Administration, Rafael de Guzman Baylosis, more popularly known Ka Raffy, remains an icon. Many still remember this leading light in the students’ movement in the Diliman Republic during those days of anger and nights of unease that are now enshrined in contemporary history as the First Quarter Storm. He was among the pioneering advocates for progressive political activities in opposing anti-democratic and anti-people government policies.

Ka Raffy fought with a different ferocity. He waged an advocacy that derived its strength from the wellsprings of his ideas. People who knew Ka Raffy could never picture him in their minds as an idealist who sought to gain political power from the barrel of a gun. All his life, this cum laude graduate in Political Science from UP – who would have become a priest were it not for the objection of his grandparents - knew very well his métier in the sociopolitical milieu: the force of a mind that refuses to stay vanquished even in the oppressive confines of a dark and dank dungeon. His mind continued to function and refused to lose its sanity even when he was incarcerated for his ideas and practical work twice, in 1973-1976 and then again in 1988-1992.

We are continually reminded that we live under the blessings of democracy - not so much, however, by its observance but by hollow lip service from those who cavalierly run roughshod over it. And it is under this same “democratic” atmosphere that Ka Raffy is now charged as engaged in activities his accusers label as rebellion.

To be sure, the line between espousal of ideas and the actual taking up of arms against a government is well-defined. The first is supposed to be allowed to flourish; the second is the proper subject of a prosecution under present laws. That Ka Raffy was actively well within the first and never in the second should make him perfectly excluded from any accusation for rebellion.

It is odd that an ideologue like Ka Raffy would now suffer a fate worse than what he underwent during a state of declared martial law. Let us see how he has been doing since EDSA in 1986, so we can make an informed judgment on either his innocence or culpability in the crime of rebellion.

He was for a time a lecturer on Philippine Social Realities at the St. Joseph’s College. He was also a consultant of the IBP Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights, and a senior research assistant at the UP Third World Studies Center. To give vent to, and flesh out his advocacies, he wrote a number of papers and delivered here and abroad lectures on socio-economic and political affairs, and served as resource person to a number of congressional committees conducting investigations in aid of legislation in the areas of civil, political and human rights.

In the May 2001 elections, he was involved in the electoral campaign of the Bayan Muna Party. Again, in the May 2004 elections, he was all over the country to campaign for the Anakpawis Party.

In the immediate past, Ka Raffy was a consultant to the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union and the United Luisita Workers’ Union at Hacienda Luisita. He contributed to the successful conclusion of the settlement that put an end to the year-long strike that paralyzed operations of Hacienda Luisita.

From 2001 to the present, he has been serving as consultant to the Peace Negotiations between the Government and the National Democratic Front, and as member of the Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms, the responsibilities of which require him to travel to Utrecht, Netherlands and Oslo, Norway, for long stretches of time.

Presently, Ka Raffy is the national vice-chairperson of the Anakpawis Party, and the vice-chairperson for Political and External Affairs of the KMU.

Where’s the rebellion in all these?


Johnnyric Domingo
6/14/2007 3:52:09 PM

Naimbag nga orasyo Atty! Agwarawaraak laeng ita.

Balbaliakto nga umay palabasan daytoy napateg a sinuratyo...


Ag-Loginka pay nga umuna Kailian sakbay nga agposteka.