Ka Joker, a revolutionary martyr

The Communist Party of the Philippines – North Central Mindanao Region (CPP-NCMR) pays its highest respect to Ricardo ‘Ka Joker’ Manili who have made the supreme sacrifice by selflessly giving up his life in the service of the people.

Ka Joker, 64 years old and a political detainee under the fascist regime of Rodrigo Duterte, suffered from comatose after he tumbled and bumped his head on the ground. He was rushed to the provincial hospital but was transfered to Butuan Doctors due to the public hospital’s incapability to accomodate such case. After five days, January 22, 2019, he died under the close-guarding of the state forces.

Ka Joker, who was also fondly called by the masses and his comrades as ‘Ka Tiyo’ or ‘Ka Giwgiw’, was a local mass leader in their barangay around 1980’s. He then became a member of their local Party branch. In 1983, he joined the New People’s Army (NPA) with his brother.

He was among the region’s revolutionary cadres who advanced the Party’s ideological, political and organizational principles. He was one of the few cadres who could execute both political and military duties.

As a political officer, he effectively elevated the ideological consciousness of the Party cadres and members, Red armies and the masses. Ka Joker was active in tranforming the current decadent culture through his engagements in revolutionary cultural activities. He was even fond of composing his own piece, making the plight of the masses and their alternatives as its subject.

As a commanding officer of the NPA-Sub Regional Operations Command in Agusan, he led several victorious tactical offensives concluding to the confiscation of more rifles from the enemy which aided in the advancement of the armed revolution in the region. One of these glaring offensives was the annihilation of the 4th Division Reconnaisance Company, who were supposed to raid the NPA camp, last August 2004 in Manawang, Ginabsan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

He was also adored by the peasant masses for being at the forefront of waging their democratic interests through agrarian revolution.

Ka Joker was captured last May 2, 2016 while heading to a venue where a prisoner-of-war was to be released. He was then charged with dubious trumped-up cases. As Duterte took office, Ka Joker was among the 160 sickly and elderly political prisoners who were promised of amnesty as part of the state’s good will on the resumption of the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the GRP. But until his last breath, Ka Joker endured the regime’s repugnant conduct.

Amidst the state’s brutal and inhumane treatment against political prisoners, Ka Joker showed his example of hard struggle. He potently slammed the enemy that they could never hamstring the revolutionary nor the revolutionary movement by putting its cadres behind bars. Aside from the lack of safeguard as an elderly and sickly political prisoner, Ka Joker was also deprived from being admitted to a recommended hospital. Adding insult to the wound, it was his family and friends who paid the hospital bills during his surgery. The reactionary government, that was supposed to guarantee his medical condition, did not lay a single penny.

Ka Joker’s courage to the last breath makes him live beyond death. His invaluable contributions would always be remembered through the ever widening and deepening revolutionary struggle. Ka Joker and the hundreds of revolutionary martyrs blazed the steeped hills with their blood and it’s up for the young cadres to follow the bloodstained pavement of freedom.

The revolutionary situation is always fertile for the people to avenge the blood of Ka Joker, of the revolutionary martyrs, and transform it to revolutionary valor. With the ever worsening economic and political crisis under the moribund rotten system, the revolutionaries need to grasp the militant spirit Ka Joker taught us. His death will never be in vain, but will rather inspire the people to further intensify the struggle to achieve a just and free society. #