Edjop, Lean Remembered

Abreu also praised Edjop for not being macho. “Madalas nagboboluntaryo siyang maghugas ng pinagkanan.” (Often, he volunteers to wash the dishes), she said.

“Sa panahon ng Ikalawang Dakilang Kilusang Pagwawasto, may isang kasamang patiyak na nagsabi, kung buhay si Edjop, tiyak sa rejectionist siya. Ako, palagay ko, hindi. Sa kanyang mapanuring katangian, tiyak ko, magdadala siya ng notebook at kakausapin ang mga nasa rehiyon at sa mababang antas ng organisasyon. Mananaig ang kanyang pagiging partidista at alam ko, ramdam ko, papanig siya sa tama.” (During the Second Great Rectification Movement, a comrade said that if Edjop was alive, he would be with the rejectionists. I think otherwise. Because of his analytical character, I am sure he would bring his notebook and talk to the leaders in the regions and to the ordinary members of the organization. His being a Party member will prevail, and I know, I feel, he will side with the correct line), she said.

The CPP conducted a rectification movement in 1992 which caused some of its members to leave the organization and formed their own. Those who rejected the rectification movement were called rejectionists.

Meanwhile, Jose “Pete” Lacaba read a poem, “In Memoriam,” dedicated to the victims of killings under Martial Law. Part of the poem read: “Sila’y nangarap din nang gising/subalit ang mga pangarap nila’y matalim na bituin./Ang mga berdugo’t panginoon ay natakot sa kanilang mga pangarap,/natakot na baka ang kanilang mga pangarap ay magkatotoo./At dahil dito, sila’y wala na sa ating piling” (They too dreamed while awake/but their dreams were sharp stars./The killers and lords feared their dreams,/feared that their dreams may become a reality./And because of this, they are no longer with us.)

Risa Jopson, youngest daughter of Edjop, received the award for her father. She said she was proud to receive the award given by the organizations his father loved so well.

At night that same day, Risa led another tribute to her father, through a cultural activity at the Mag:Net Café along Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. The documentary film Edjop, made 20 years ago by Jose Cuaresma, was shown, followed by poetry reading where Lacaba and students from the Ateneo de Manila University, Edjop’s alma mater, were among the performers.


Fr. Joe Dizon read a tribute to Lean. Rita Baua, who came to know Lean, helped in writing the tribute.

Lean became prominent in the political scene in the country when he became the chairperson of the student council at the University of the Philippines (UP).

“His politics went beyond the borders of the campus that was equally well known for being the cradle of a long line of revolutionaries and progressives,” Dizon recalled. “He spoke in public assemblies and was a favorite of the mass media as a resource person regarding the latest statements or actuations of the dictator Marcos.”

“Lean was truly a courageous person,” Dizon also said. “We remember one instance (when) he left the ranks of the demonstrators and with arms widespread, stood in the way of jeepload of riot police who were set to chase after the rallyists. His instinctive reaction was to prevent the police from beating up or arresting the protesters, never mind if he was the one who got arrested or beaten up.”

Lean, according to those who met him, was also warm and caring. “He hugged friends and his family in natural fashion. He squeezed the arms of a few people close to him, especially if they had done something for him,” Dizon related.

“Lean was at home with all sectors of society – be they personages or the workers of Malabon or the peasants in the ricefields of Bulacan,” Dizon said. “He was loved by Lorenzo Tañada, Sr., founding chair of Bayan.”

Lean became part of broad anti-fascist formations Nationalist Alliance for Justice, Freedom and Democracy (NAJFD), Justice for Aquino, Justice for All (JAJA), and Coalition for the Restoration of Democracy (CORD) which were precursors of Bayan.

Lean’s mother, Salvacion, received the award for Lean.

“We hope that this tribute will not pass like the wind but will take root in our hearts as we carry out our tasks as Lean did, with fierce adherence to the national and democratic principles, faithfulness to the aspirations and keen to the needs of the basic sectors of workers and peasants and the rest of the suffering Filipino people, with boundless enthusiasm and great love for the heroic struggles of the Filipino people for national freedom, democracy and prosperity,” Dizon said. (Bulatlat.com)

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