Not like other personalities from the revolutionary Left such as Prof. Jose Maria Sison. Luis Jalandoni, Coni Ledesma, Fidel Agcaoili, and the late Tony Zumel, Wilma Austria and Benito Tiamzon were never thrust in the limelight, at least before their March 22 arrest. For the general public and the media, they are enigmatic.
The government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, without knowing who they really are, often portray them as “hardliners” in the communist movement. At one point, the Aquino government and the AFP, trying to create intrigues within the Communist Party of the Philippines, baselessly announced that there are disagreements between the communist leadership in Ultrecht, The Netherlands, referring to Prof. Jose Maria Sison, and in the country, referring to Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria, regarding the peace talks with the government.
Who are they? What is their background? What shaped them to become revolutionaries? How are they as a couple? How do they think and what are their thoughts about the country?
These three articles about them hope to answer these questions, and more through telling their life stories and reflecting their thoughts.
“Happiness is in the revolution,” Benito said, smiling. “I could not think of any other life. There is no other way. The revolution is not a burden, an obligation I perform with a heavy heart. It comes out naturally.”
Wilma Austria, a woman, a student of history, a patriot, a revolutionary
“Why should one stop when a lot has to be done to attain radical change not only for Filipinos but for other exploited and oppressed peoples as well?”
Benito and Wima | A story of love and revolution
Their relationship was tempered by difficulties, hardships, living with risks, and the ups and downs of waging a revolution.