By RAYMUND B. VILLANUEVA
Tributes to Randy Malayao are still pouring in on the eve of the slain National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant’s burial in the old town of San Pablo, Isabela, his hometown.
Despite apparent efforts by the Cagayan Valley Philippine National Police to malign him, local and international progressive organizations continue to hail Malayao as a genuine peace worker.
“We got to know Randy during the peace dialogues that took place in Europe and we saw his commitment to the struggle for peace and the rights of the Filipino people,” the Rome-based Italian Migrants Committee said in a statement.
The Italian-Filipino Friendship Committee—likewise based in Rome—also expressed its solidarity with Malayao’s relatives and the NDFP.
“The Committee asks the movements and the anti-imperialist and pacifist Italian parties to support the cause of the NDFP and asks the Italian State to commit itself to a just peace in the Philippines in all the international fora, starting with the European Parliament,” it said in a statement.
In the Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines alumni said they are proud of Randy who “use(d) his intelligence, political acumen, good character, kindness, humility, wit, and good disposition wherever his commitment brought him.”
“We absolutely admire him as an outstanding propagandist, tireless organizer, and an exceptional builder of consensus. He had this awesome ability to bring people from different background (and even in difficult circumstances) together and forge unity towards a common cause,” the group said.
Makabayan chairperson and senate aspirant Neri Colmenares also heaped praise on Malayao when he visited the fallen Bayan Muna regional coordinator’s wake.
“Randy is a hero of the people who spent his life always working for genuine peace and betterment of the Filipino people,” Colmenares said as he urged the PNP to “stop spreading intrigues against him because they are just exposing their true colors.”
In seeming response to ongoing vilification campaigns by the regional PNP and the other anti-Leftist groups against Malayao, NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison and NDFP Negotiating Panel member Julieta de Lima said they only have fond memories of the victim.
“What immediately struck us as soon as he introduced himself to us was his amiability, cheerful mien, quick sense of humor and deep sense of optimism,” the couple said from their asylum base in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
“In the course of working with him we came to respect him for his revolutionary integrity, intellect and diligence in the discussion of issues and drafting of documents and his desire for a just and lasting peace,” they added.
Sison and de Lima pointed out that in slandering Malayao, those who murdered him are unwittingly rendering him the highest honor even if in the vilest form of slander.
“It is a good thing to be attacked by the enemies of the Filipino people’s revolutionary cause of national and social liberation. The attacks unwittingly verify who are the heroes of the Filipino people,” they said.
Sison and de Lima said Malayao is “contributed his best to the struggle for national freedom, democracy, genuine development, social justice, cultural progress and just peace.”