The Student Christian Movement of the Philippines is in one with the broad masses of Filipinos in mourning the death of a great revolutionary leader.
Gregorio ‘Ka Roger’ Rosal, for many years was the man who untiringly uphold the banner of the people’s revolution against feudal oppression and colonial subjugation. His voice was the constant reminder that a revolutionary change awaits the vast number of masses who had been suffering from extreme poverty and immeasurable oppression for several decades.
Ka Roger will forever remain in the memories of the revolutionaries and masses as an attestation of a period in our history wherein one’s only hope is to risk hastening death in order for oneself and others to fully live.
Ka Roger lived a life similar to those of all the other men in history who dared to challenge and struggle against the ruling system. Coming from a family of farmers, he got acquainted with the appalling condition of Filipino tillers in the countryside at a very early age. He worked as a house help and eventually as a peddler to help his family meet their bare necessities. Despite tough conditions, he resolutely endeavored to get hold of formal education. A quintessential progressive youth, Ka Roger never sat indolently in the face of injustice and oppression. He heeded the call of his time to comprehend the basis of the economic and social distress that had loomed the countryside since the time of his ascendants. He joined the Kabataang Makabayan. In the course of engaging in the parliamentary struggle against Marcos Dictatorship, he grasped the necessity of resorting to armed resistance against the organized, systemic exploitation of feudal landlords and bureaucrat capitalists backed by the semi-colonial and semi-feudal economic and political system of the Philippines.
His revolutionary life was filled with hardships and sacrifices. In the company of comrades, he had to cross mountains to be where the masses were. At night, he had to walk unnoticed to transfer to adjacent areas to expand and consolidate the bases of the Peoples Democratic Government. At daytime, he would tirelessly convince the masses that it is only through revolutionary struggle can their dreadful conditions be eliminated.
As an ecumenical, national democratic organization, we cannot help but see in the life of Ka Roger the hardships that Jesus Christ also had to endure to bring forth to his people the promise of a new life. Shaking the foundations of the system that was thriving at that time, he was most despised by the Roman Empire and doubted by some for the ideas he introduced. He died with people marching with him, not out of honor but disparagement.
Ka Roger’s death, just like any other men in history who died fighting against the dominant system, will not mostly be marked by ardent praises. But for as long as his ideas and revolutionary practice live in the hearts and minds of those who believed in his struggles and of those for whom he offered his life, Ka Roger’s death will never be in vain.
History tells us that greatest are those men who died fervently loathed by the current system, for they will be proclaimed heroes of the new one yet to come.
The mercenary Armed Force, landlords, comprador bourgeoisie and the puppet reactionary government are rejoicing over the loss of one of the Philippines’ greatest revolutionary warriors. This is so because, until his death, Ka Roger fostered his unbridled anger against the enemies, anger which sprang from his passionate love for the Filipino people.
Subalit pareho lang sa akin kung
Sa kasukalan lang ako malugmok…
Sapat na kung masang minahal ang magbangon:
Magwasak ng ating piitang bulok!
Lumikha ng lipunan ng liwanag, oo!
Liwanag na sa loob kung ako’y mamamatay.
- Emmanuel Lacaba
Long Live the Memory of Ka Roger!
Long Live the Memories of all Revolutionary Martyrs!
Long Live the Filipino People!
Long live the Struggle for National Emancipation and Genuine Democracy!
Chairperson, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines