Fi­del V. Agcaoi­li, 75


Tributes and memorials rushed in after the National Democratic Front of the Philippines announced the demise of Fidel V. Agcaoili last July 23. Ka Fidel was the chaiperson of the NDFP’s negotiating panel to the peace talks with the Government of the Philippines since 2016. He passed away in Utrecht, The Netherlands at approximately 12 noon. He was cremated after a short program launched by his closes friends and comrades on July 31. His family, as well as numerous friends, comrades and acquaintances were not able to attend due to the pandemic’s travel restrictions.

“It happened so fast,” Ka Connie said, referring to Ka Fidel’s death. “One minute, his nose was bleeding, and then he passed out.” He did not make it to the hospital. According to his doctors, he died due to pul­mo­nary ar­te­ri­al rup­tu­re which caused internal bleeding. The NDFP clarified that it was not Covid-19 related.

Comrades and friends are having a hard time believing his death. Nwel Saturay, a friend and photographer said that Ka Fidel was “full of life” and someone who one would never be of need of a tribute picture, at least not for “a very, very long time. He was joyful, funny and easily humored, easy to be friends with, both for the young and the old. When he was younger, was known as “Pidolps” because of this, and also because of his uncanny resemblance to the late comedian Doplhy.

“Terrible, bok!” he would often humorously say, wrote Atty. Edre Ola­lia, NDFP’s peace pa­nel lawyer. He can be exacting and impatient, the lawyer says, but always humble.

In an interview, Ka Fidel recognized that all men die. Even some bourgeios philosophers, he said, recognize that “it’s helping out others that is the meaning of existence. To bring about changes, to bring about a worldwide society that is just, that is equal.” In the same interview, he said that he has chosen the right path, and given another chance, he would still choose the same path. “I have no regrets,” he said. “ I will stay in the movement as long as I live.”

Ka Fidel was not a stranger to sacrifice. He was the longest serving political detainee under the Marcos dictatorship (11 years). Couple Lou and Raffy Baylosis recalled that he would be passed over by other detainees but he would alway smile while waving goodbye to those released before him. In the next decades, he lived apart from his family. This was for his safety from threats to his life by the Enrile-Honasan-RAM faction during Cory Aquino’s regime.

In the last few years, he was able to mingle with Red fighters and the revolutionary masses in guerrilla fronts. He was a guest of honor during the Party’s 46th anniversary celebration in Agusan del Sur where he was able to meet Ka Oris. Ka Oris personally waited for him before the opening of the 2nd Congress, but Ka Fidel was unable to attend due to security difficulties and other tasks. Comrades in the countryside who know him was shocked and saddened by his sudden death.

Jose Maria Sison, the Party’s founding chairperson and one of Ka Fidel’s closest comrade and friend, afforded him the highest tribute as a great patriot and an outstanding communist, even based only on what is publicly known.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines paid him the highest honors. (Read the Ang Bayan Special Issue, July 29, 2020.) The NPA likewise saluted him through Ka Oris’ condolences.

Others such as media personalities who knew him, mass organization in the country and abroad, communist parties and Norway offered condolences.

The Central Committee of the Party declared August 8, when Ka Fidel would have turned 76, as a Day of Remembrance and Tribute. The NPA national command called on all Red fighters to salute him with their weapons at dawn for the NPA’s tribute to a great communist leader.

Fi­del V. Agcaoi­li, 75