Tribute to Comrade Beato Lacaba

By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines

I wish to convey most heartfelt condolences to the family and close comrades of Ka Beato Lacaba. I share your deep sense of loss as I am aware of his long dedicated service to the Filipino people, especially among his colleagues and friends in the field of science and technology. I owe to Ka Beato a special debt of gratitude in his capacity as sales manager of Aklat ng Bayan for playing a key role in publishing and distributing my books.

We are all consoled and gratified that he lived a life full of meaning and accomplishment in the people's struggle for national liberation and democracy. He had been an activist of the national democratic movement since his student days. After he graduated with the degree of mechanical engineer, he was employed by an engineering firm in Marikina where he helped arouse, organize and mobilize the workers and his fellow engineers.

From 1977 onwards, he was a member of a national democrat cell within the Liga ng Agham Para sa Bayan (LAB, League of Science for the People), an underground national democratic organization of scientists and technologists. He was active in organizing and mobilizing progressive scientists, engineers and workers doing scientific or technical work.

He enthusiastically applied his technical knowledge and skills in doing research and development of prototypes of machines and equipment needed by the national democratic movement. He exemplified the style of having a calm but active state of mind. He performed his tasks quietly but diligently, conscientiously and productively.

He is fondly remembered by his colleagues in LAB as one who often turned a criticism-and-self-criticism session into an event full of laughter. He had a unique ability of lightening the atmosphere and bringing home important points. To insiders he was a self-effacing and humorous guy one could easily work with, although to outsiders he looked like he was a stern man with great authority.

He was highly appreciated for being able to earn a living for his family and yet being able to perform his revolutionary tasks. He ventured into business enterprises that could also provide for the specific needs of his unit in LAB.

He was arrested in March 1990 along with other LAB members and was detained for several months at the Philippine Army's maximum security unit in Fort Bonifacio. He continued to be resolute and courageous. Upon his release, he immediately resumed participating in protest rallies and fora.

He was a charter member of the First Quarter Storm Movement and was one of its most active members. He was always present in any FQSM activity as well as multisectoral activities.

We are ever grateful to Ka Beato for having been an exemplary militant and for his contributions to the people's democratic struggle. His name and deeds are etched in the memory of the people.

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