By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel
By way of honoring Horacio “Boy” Morales, I wish to recall his relations with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the New People’s Army and his contributions to the revolutionary movement within the range of my personal knowledge and on the basis of reports of comrades.
The first time I became aware of Boy’s connections to the revolutionary movement was in 1975 when he sent to me a letter through Jimmy S., a staffer of the CPP National Liaison Committee (NLC). His letter proposed certain kinds of projects that could be undertaken to improve the people’s livelihood and advance the revolution.
Jimmy S. also informed me that Boy was being developed to become a member of the CPP by certain comrades in the Development Academy of the Philippines, that he knew and encouraged the formation of NDFP cells and the recruitment of CPP members in the DAP, and allowed the use of DAP vehicles and facilities by the NDFP, CPP and NLC.
Before I became aware of Boy’s involvement in the revolutionary movement, I had always thought of him as a key member of the so-called Paeng Salas’ boys. His first letter to me was followed by another one with a copy of the so-called Countryside Development, which had been prepared by Sixto Roxas. He wrote to me that the CPP could probably improve the plan and use it.
My communications with Boy ceased in 1976. But I continued to monitor what he and others were doing in DAP through Jimmy S. and other comrades.
When I was in prison, I learned that Boy had dramatically defected to the revolutionary movement on the very night that he was to receive the TOYM award (Ten Outstanding Young Men). The news raised my spirit. I was proud of what he did.
The account of Alan Jazmines covers well the initiation of Boy into the life of the New People’s Army and the people in the countryside, and his eventual assignment to the NDFP. It was while working for the NDFP that Boy was arrested and detained.
After the downfall of the Marcos fascist dictatorship in 1986, Boy joined me in the Preparatory Commission of the Partido ng Bayan (People’s Party. We met and talked many times. We were often in the same forums, seminars and conferences. Boy helped in establishing the Partido ng Bayan. He subsequently ran as one of its senatorial candidates.
In connection with his work in the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and other engagements, he made frequent trips to The Netherlands from 1988 onwards. Thus, we had several opportunities of discussing the Philippine situation and what is to be done, especially in the legal mass movement and in the field of socio-economic development. He was always receptive to advice on projects beneficial to the people.
Rep. Jose V. Yap brought Boy along in meetings to explore the holding of peace negotiations between the Manila government and the NDFP from 1989 onwards. Boy was around to help the delegation of the Ramos government when The Hague Joint Declaration, the framework agreement for peace negotiations, was negotiated and signed in 1992. When Howard Dee became chairman of the GRP (government of the Republic of the Philippines, the Manila government) negotiating panel in 1994, he diminished the possibility for Boy to help in the peace negotiations.
Boy was always willing to help the patriotic and progressive forces even when he increased his work for certain bourgeois presidential candidates, and even when he became Secretary of Agrarian Reform under the Estrada administration. He was one of two major government officials who encouraged Estrada to do what Ramos had failed to do, sign the Comprehensive Agreement for Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in 1998.
Boy was never arrogant towards anyone in the revolutionary movement even when he held his high position in government. He was approachable and helpful. After Estrada fell, he continued to be in touch with me and arranged my dialogues with certain personages. I am told that he cooperated enthusiastically with the progressive forces in opposing and isolating the Arroyo regime and seeking its ouster.
Boy had a high capacity for achievement and expressed his political views clearly, honestly and modestly. Even when he had views different from those of the revolutionary forces, he never sought to impose his views on the whole or any part of the revolutionary movement, and certainly he never attacked the movement for not accepting his views on certain issues. He was ever ready to find a common ground and contribute what he could to the revolutionary movement.