A Tribute to KMU/PISTON leader

Medardo "Ka Roda" Roda

(1934 - 2010)

 

UCCP EDSA

 

September 11, 2010

 

See also: Labs ko si Ka Roda: A Tribute

 

 

■  Video clips

 

■  News and articles on Ka Roda

 

 

 

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TRIBUTE TO KA MEDARDO RODA

CHAIRMAN EMERITUS OF PISTON

6 September 2010

 

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chairperson

International League of Peoples' Struggle

 

We of the International League of Peoples' Struggle express our sadness over the passing away of Ka Medardo Roda. We convey our most heartfelt condolences to his beloved family and to all his comrades in Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON), Kilusang Mayo Uno, Anakpawis and all other organizations of the toiling masses of workers and peasants.

 

All of us grieve the death of Ka Roda. But at the same time, we are gratified and gladdened by his legacy of hard work, arduous struggle and brilliant achievements in the service of the working class and the entire Filipino people. He was responsible for founding and building PISTON as the largest nationwide association of transport workers, especially jeepney drivers, and for leading the most effective transport strikes against the foreign oil monopolies and the puppet reactionary government in the last three decades.

 

Ka Roda toiled as a peasant at a very young age before he went to the city to become a taxi driver and then a jeepney driver. He became an outstanding leader of the working class and the people by standing up for their rights and interests and daring to fight the Marcos fascist dictatorship. He was illegally arrested and imprisoned on the false charge of rebellion in 1983. In the succeeding Aquino regime, he was also arrested on trumped up charges. He was thoroughly convinced by his bitter experience that revolutionary struggle was made necessary by the persistence of a ruling system that is servile to the imperialists and extremely corrupt, cruel and deceptive.

 

Ka Roda detested the exploitativeness and oppressiveness of the foreign monopolies, the big compradors and landlords. Thus, he was determined to contribute what he could to the people's struggle for national liberation and democracy. He leaves us an everlasting legacy of resolute and militant struggle, sacrifices and concrete achievements. The people will always remember him, cherish his memory and draw inspiration from his enduring example as a patriot and proletarian fighter. ###

 

 

PARANGAL KAY KA MEDARDO RODA

TAGAPANGULO EMERITUS NG PISTON

6 Septyembre 2010

 

Ni Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Tagapangulo

International League of Peoples’ Struggle

 

Kami sa International League of Peoples’ Struggle ay nagpapaabot ng aming kalungkutan sa pagpanaw ni Ka Medardo Roda. Ipinaabot namin ang aming taus-pusong pakikiramay sa kanyang mahal na pamilya at mga kasamahan sa Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON), Kilusang Mayo Uno, Anakpawis at sa lahat ng mga organisasyon ng masang anakpawis ng mga manggagawa at magsasaka.

 

Lahat tayo ay nagdadalamhati sa pagpanaw ni Ka Roda. Ngunit tayo rin ay nalulugod at natutuwa sa kanyang ipinamanang masikhay na paggawa, walang-pagod na pakikibaka at mga maningning na tagumpay sa paglilingkod sa uring manggagawa at sa buong sambayanang Pilipino. Siya ang responsable sa pagkakatatag at pagpapalakas ng PISTON bilang pinakamalaking pambansang asosasyon ng mga manggagawa sa trasportasyon, laluna sa hanay ng mga tsuper ng jeepney, gayundin sa pangunguna sa mga pinakaepektibong welga sa trasportasyon laban sa mga dayuhang monopolyo ng langis at ng mga papet na reaksyonaryong gobyerno nitong nakarang tatlong dekada.

 

Si Ka Roda ay naghirap bilang isang magsasaka sa maagang edad bago siya tumungo sa lunsod at naging isang tsuper ng taksi at sa paglaon bilang isang tsuper ng jeepney. Siya ay naging isang natatanging lider ng uring manggagawa at ng mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng kanyang pagtindig para sa kanilang mga karapatan at kapakanan at sa kanyang mapangahas ng paglaban sa pasisitang diktadurang Marcos. Siya ay iligal na inaresto at ikinulong batay sa bulaang habla ng rebelyon noong 1983.  Noong sumunod na rehimeng Aquino, siya ay muling inaresto batay sa mga gawa-gawang kaso.  Ang kanyang mapait na karanasan ang nagkumbinsi sa kanya na ang patuloy na pananatili ng isang sistemang sunud-sunuran sa mga imperyalista at isang sistemang korap, mapaniil at mapanlinlang ang dahilan kung bakit kinakailangan ang isang rebolusyonaryong pakikibaka.

 

Kinamumuhian ni Ka Roda ang pagsasamantala at pang-aapi ng mga dayuhang monopolyo, ng mga malaking kumprador at panginoong maylupa. Kung gayon, siya ay determinadong nag-ambag ng kanyang makakaya para sa pakikibaka ng mamamayan para sa pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya. Nag-iwan siya sa atin ng walang-hanggang pamana ng matatag at militanteng pakikibaka, mga sakripisyo at kongkretong mga tagumpay. Laging gugunitain ng mamamayan si Ka Roda, itatangi ang kanyang alaala at hahango ng inspirasyon mula sa kanyang di-magmamaliw na halimbawa bilang isang patriyotiko at proletaryadong mandirigma.###

 

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The readers of Arkibong Bayan are invited to click: http://www.josemariasison.org/  This is the authorized website of Prof. Jose Maria Sison.  It has been recently restructured and improved by its editors.  Thank you for your attention.

 

     
Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod read a tribute to Ka Roda
     
           

 

Biyaheng Tagumpay

by Pia Montalban

 

Ayaw ko na sa kung nasaan ako ngayon.

Kaya nang mamukhaan ko ang ninanais na destinasyon.

Hinanap ko ang daan at pamamaraan na tutunton

at maghahatid sa akin sa inaasaam asam na lokasyon.

 

"Bawal tumawid, may namatay na dito" ang siyang babala--

Ngunit hindi takot ang bumabalot sa bawat napahandusay na kasama.

Hindi pag-urong ang naging tugon sa isinasaboy nilang pangamba.

Tuloy ang pagtawid sa mapanganib na kalsada.

 

Maraming sasakyan ang nagparuo't parito.

May mga barker pang nagtatawag at nangeengganyo.

Ngunit ang nais ko'y makalulan sa sasakyang maghahatid sa paraiso.

kung saan may pagkakapantay-pantay at may dignidad ang bawat tao.

 

Sa wakas natagpuan ang dyipning maghahatid

sa kabilang panig ng mundong, iilan lang ang nakababatid.

May pananabik sa bawat hakbang pasakay,

palulan sa pagsisimula ng isang paglalakbay.

 

Ngunit ang dyip ay waring karo ng patay!

Waring isang prusisyong kung kaninong Poon ay alay!

Napakabagal ng pagusad. Tumitigil sa bawat kanto!

Isinasakay kahit ang asong walang malay, nakaantabay!

 

Umaandar ang oras at ang lahat ng lulan, ay naiinip.

Ngunit pasipol-sipol pa ang drayber na sa una'y nakakabwisit.

Aniya, "walang iwanan sa paglalakbay, kasama..

..kailangang maorganisa ang bawat kanto't maging kabarkada"

 

 

Kapos nga naman ang tagumpay na hindi kayo kasama

Kapos nga naman ang tagumpay na iilan lamang ang nakakaunawa

Kapos nga naman ang tagumpay kung kami-kami lang ang makikinabang

maglilikha lamang muli ng bagong uring mangingibabaw, at panibagong tunggalian.

 

Dagdag pa ng drayber, na sweet lover:

"Gisingin, Organisahin, at Pakilusin ang Masa..

..turuan silang tumindig sa kanilang karapatan, makibaka!"

Ganito aniya, tayo tunay na makakaapak sa tagumpay, mga kasama!

 

Sama-sama, walang iwanan

nagsusuri, nagaaral, nakikibaka

ang teorya'y isinasapraktika

palaban, makabayan, linyang masa!

 

Matagalan ang paglalakbay

patungo sa hinahangad nating tagumpay

Matagalan ang digmang bayan

na wawasak dito sa nabubulok na kaayusan!

 

 

Note from the author:

Naalala ko lang, isang tulang naisulat nuong Marso ng taong ito. Nang mabagot sa gitna ng byahe sa isang mabagal umusad na jeep. Upon reflection, ito ang kinalabasang tula. Nirerepost ko bilang alay kay Ka Roda, kahit hindi kami personal na magkakilala. Maliban sa pagiging dakilang lider ng industriya ng transport, dak...ilang driver din siyang bumaybay sa isang byaheng tagumpay ang tungo.

 

           
     
     
     
           

 

TAYO AY ISANG HANAY
(Para kay Ka Alex, Ka Roda, at iba pang bayani ng rebolusyon)
- NONILON V. QUEANO
10 Setyembre 2010

Sapagkat tayo’y nagmahal nang wagas sa sinintang bayan,
Nagsilbi sa masa, nag-asam ng laya,
Doon’y nagkikita: may nanay at tatay, may lolo at lola,
(Tulad ni Ka Roda),
At, mga kabataang
(Tulad ni Ka Alex)
Na suong ang buhay sa pakikibaka.
Walang nakabukod.
Kung hindi man armas,
Ang sukbit ay tula at awit,
Pinagbuklod tayo ng mga panata,
Tulad ng kay Rizal, Bonifacio, Gabriela
Lorena, Eman, Lerry, at maraming iba pa
(Sinlapad ang lista ng langit at lupa),
At ngayo’y, tulad ni Ka Alex,
Tulad ni Ka Roda
Tayo’y nabubuong isang hanay,
Walang nagtatanong kung saang uri nagbuhat
(Bagaman marami ay sa uring salat)
Di na mahalaga kung saan bang siglo o anong dekada
Nang magdalang-liwanag
At, tulad sa gabi ng mga pangarap,
Aawitin natin ang katotohanan at ipamumudmod
At pagsasaluhan,
At payayabungin na isang halaman
Hanggang mamutiktik ng bunga’t bulaklak.

Kung masa’y inapi, ginahasa, pinagnakawan, pinaslang
(Sa isang asyenda, bukirin, o saanmang pook trabahuhan )
Tayo’y libong sulong kagyat nagliliyab
Upang suhayan ang lakad ng bayan,
May mamumuno sa mga aklasan,
(Tulad ni Ka Roda),
Mayroong susulat,
(Katulad ni Alex,
Na ibibida ang bakbakan, ang mga nalagas, pinosasan
Paglago ng hanay, inaning tagumpay)
May aawit at tutula nang buong timyas sa pulang umaga
(Tulad ng Lorena o ng isang Eman)
Para ipaalam
Sa lahat ng lugal, sa lahat ng bayan.


 

 

Ngunit hindi bulag ang ating pagsuyo
(Alam natin ‘yan)
Tulad sa butil ng palay na tatahip-tahipin
Sa kumpas ng hangin,
Ipapalaala na lahat ng ito na pinagbuwisan--
Kawalang-hustisya, gutom, hirap,
Baluktot na isip, pagkagahaman, mga pagtataksil,
Kawalang-pag-asa, at pagkalugmok ng pinakadakila sa atin
Ay lagim na niluto sa kawa ng imperyalismong
Kumamkam sa lupa, langit, dagat
At bampira nganing, sisibain tayo hanggang kamatayan.
 

Subalit, may awit sa mga puso nating di maparam-param;
Di mapugto ang ngiti tuwing may tagumpay,
Tula’y walang ubos kahit na sa bukas
Muli tayong umang sa pakikilaban
A, sa rebolusyon, walang kahulilip ang kaligayahan.

Mayroon ding araw
(Katulad ng ngayon)
Na kalat ang dilim, tila ba uulan
May unos ba kaya?
Puso’y nagluluksa,
At ang dalamhati’y malamig na hanging humihihip-hihip,
Mayroon ding araw
Na buhos ng luha’y ating pipigilin,
Kapag may kasamang nalagas na akala natin’y laging naririyan,
Kapag may makatang, katulad ni Alex,
O may manggagawang minahal ng labis, tulad ni Ka Roda
Na habang panahong kaaga-agapay ay bibiglang lilisan
Mayroon ding araw na puspos ng lungkot,
Ngunit lilipas din.
Tulad din sa lahat ng bayang pinaslang,
Pamuling aawit, pamuling tutula, pamuling susulong sa pakikibaka
Tayong isang hanay.

           
     

 

 

Tribute to Ka Medardo Roda, man of the masses and proletarian leader
Tuesday, 07 September 2010
Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

We mourn the death of Ka Medardo Roda, man of the masses and proletarian leader. We convey our most heartfelt condolences to his beloved wife, Teresa Yunzon Velasquez, their seven children, to all his comrades in Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) and his many comrades and friends in other organizations of the toiling masses.

He tilled the fields as a peasant youth, then became a taxi driver and subsequently a jeepney driver. He was active in the local organization of jeepney drivers in Metro Manila and was elected their president. In 1981, when the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU – May First Movement) was consolidating its transport committee, PISTON was established and within months, Ka Roda became its President.

Under his leadership PISTON became the biggest nationwide organization of jeepney drivers and transport workers. It launched effective transport strikes and militant demonstrations against the fascist Marcos dictatorship and the oil monopolies. Ka Roda was fearless and outspoken in denouncing the dictatorship's anti-worker and anti-people policies. He led rallies against the repeated oil price hikes.

He was arrested and detained several times on trumped up charges of rebellion. Undaunted by the threats and harassment of the dictator who branded him “the most rebellious driver the Philippines ever had”, he never wavered in his commitment to the cause of the proletariat.

Even in the most difficult and tense moments, he kept his cool. His sense of humour and quick wit were well known. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, the President of KMU and a very close friend of Ka Roda, loved to tell stories about Ka Roda's sense of humor and quick wit under difficult situations. Ka Roda loved the masses, and they in turn loved him and looked up to him as their leader.

Ka Roda has made a sterling contribution to the advance to the people's struggle for national and social liberation, demonstrating in practice over three decades the effective leadership of the working class in the people's democratic revolution. His legacy as a man of the masses and an outstanding proletarian leader will live on in the hearts of the proletariat and people of the Philippines.
 

LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

           
           
     
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Bayan Muna Pres. Satur Ocampo with the widow of Ka Roda, Tess
     


Kung Gabi ang Dilim
Para kay Alex Remollino at Medardo “Ka Roda” Roda

ni Rolando B. Tolentino
Sept. 8, 2010


Kung gabi ang dilim, ano ang aantayin? Walang mga kulisap na paroon at parito sa pinagmumulang ilaw sa poste. Walang alitaptap dahil walang aninong tangkay na mapapagdapuan. Walang masisipat dahil ang kalawakan ay isang buong itim na sumang kinumot.

Kung gabi ang dilim, paano ang pamamaalam? Walang maaninag, walang makukumusta, walang mabibilinan, walang mapapasalamatan, walang masasabihan na hanggang sa muli. Walang tao, walang anino. Ang paligid ng karimlan ay isang uniberso ng anino.

Kung gabi ang dilim, ang mga talinhaga ang tanging pumapalaot, naghahanap ng dalampasigan ng pakikibakang mapapadparan. Ng mga kasamang namamaalam sa kawalan, ng mga naiwang akda at tulang natapos at hindi kailanman matutuldukan. Ng mga pag-ibig na bumabalot, tulad ng init sa magdamag.

Kung gabi ang dilim, ang mga mitsa sa engkwentro ng platoon, sulo sa libo-libong nagmamartsa, gaas na lampara ng unyonista sa piket, magsasakang nag-aamba sa pagbubukang-liwayway, manunulat na mag-isang tumitipak sa karimlan. Ito ay mga ilaw sa karimlang bumabalot sa lahat.

Kung gabi ang dilim, siyang namamaalam ay siyang naiiwan. At ang habilin ay higit pang kumilos sa balot ng kadiliman, habang ang dilim ay kinakalinga ng kanyang mabubuting anak.

Kung gabi ang dilim at tila kawalan-katiyakan, ang tagumpay ay siya ring nasa durungawan.

 

     
           
Remembering Ka Roda's service to  the people
           
     
  PISTORN leaders from various regions  
     
     

 

Medardo Roda, pioneer of Philippine drivers’ movement, passes away
by KMU

http://www.kilusangmayouno.org/medardo-roda-pioneer-philippine-drivers%E2%80%99-movement-passes-away

 


Pioneer of the progressive drivers’ movement in the country, staunch fighter for the rights of the marginalized, and a most endeared transport leader for many drivers and poor people, Medardo “Ka Roda” Roda, passed away on September 5 due to cardiac arrest.

Ka Roda, arguably one of the most well known and undoubtedly one of the most well-loved transport leaders the country has ever had, is the Chairman Emeritus of PISTON (Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide) until he died. PISTON is one of the federations under Kilusang Mayo Uno and is the organization where Ka Roda concretized his struggle for nationalism and genuine democracy for more than 30 years.

From peasant to driver, early hardwork and engagement

Born on October 27, 1934, to a peasant family in Libmanan, Camarines Sur, Ka Roda started tilling farm fields at age 12. In between school, he regularly helped his father in the farm. He went to Bicol Central Academy and was a consistent student leader until he finished high school in 1954.

He went to Manila after high school to search for a livelihood that could finance him to college. He stayed with his brother in Cavite who was a body guard-driver to then Senator Justiniano Montano. The Montanos gave him employment and sent him to an automotive school in 1957. When he finished the short course, he was asked to assist in managing the car rental business of Ciriaco Montano, the eldest son of the senator.

He left the job in 1960 and started driving a taxi in the 8th of July of that year, as Ka Roda exactly recalled. After becoming a hold-up victim for the fourth time in 1978, he decided to quit being a taxi driver.

Ka Roda transferred to jeepney driving, and started to ply the Cubao-V Luna route. There he was exposed to meetings and discussions of transport organizations, where he was always vocal and active. He was quickly elected as president of the local drivers’ and operators’ association.

Leading drivers against a dictator

KMU was then consolidating its ‘transport committee’ which led to the founding of PISTON in 1981. In July 1981, Ka Roda was elected as Third Vice President of the organization. After a few months, he eventually took over as President of PISTON.

One of the first campaigns he led was the scrapping of PD 1605, which cancels a driver’s license on his third offense in the street, no matter how small it is. When they hold transport strikes, Ka Roda remembered how mad the Quezon City Mayor’s office was to them, as they could really paralyze the streets.

Because of their strong protests against government exploitation of drivers, oil price hikes, and people’s issues as well, Ka Roda easily earned the ire of the Marcos regime. On September 5, 1983, he was arrested and charged with rebellion under the Arrest, Seize and Seizure Order (ASSO). He was arrested together with other KMU leaders, like Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, who were ‘cracked down’ in August to September of that year.

After one year and three months, Ka Roda and some of his colleagues managed to win for their release.

From Marcos fan to enemy

Marcos would never know that he would find such a staunch enemy with Ka Roda, as the latter was actually his fan before. “I guess, it’s my admiration for effective law enforcement or my experience with the robbers that drew me closer to liking the Martial law,” Ka Roda said in an interview with the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights.

But when Ka Roda started to pay attention to the problems faced by drivers, enagaged in educational discussions with them, and determined the roots of the crises that plagued drivers and majority of the Filipinos alike, he became certain about the accountability of the state – ruled by Marcos then and led by Noynoy Aquino now.

Ka roda even recalled of how Marcos eventually tagged him: “the most rebellious driver the Philippines ever had. Gago talaga si Marcos,” Ka Roda said in a video tribute ‘Ruta ni Ka Roda’ by Kodao Productions.

Ka Roda was also arrested by succeeding regimes, in 1988 and 1990.

Loved by comrades

Ka Roda is one progressive leader who can cite specific provisions of the Philippine Constitution to use it against wrongdoings of the government itself. In a tribute held last February 14, 2009 entitled ‘Labs Ko Si Ka Roda,’ current Anakpawis Partylist Representative Rafael Mariano recited some of Ka Roda’s favorite lines: “Public office is a public trust… Sovereignty resides in the people”. To which, Ka Roda quickly added “..and all government authority emanates from them.”

Ka Roda was also known to be cheerful and entertaining to his comrades. His colleagues also remember ka Roda as one who can remain cool and clear-headed when engaging in debates within the organization.

Sickness and continuing struggle

Ka Roda was attacked by stroke in February of 2002. The left side of his body was paralyzed. But despite his condition, he continued to give valuable opinions on how to better advance the struggle of drivers’ and people’s movements.

He suffered more strokes in 2002 and 2003. On his fifth stroke on September 2 last week, he was confined at the East Avenue Medical Center. Then after days of struggling in the hospital, a cardiac arrest due to multiple seizures took away his life at 2:20pm on September 5.

Ka Roda is a proud father of seven, five daughters and two sons, to a loving wife Teresita Yunzon Velasquez.

His remains will lie at St. Peter Memorial Chapel, Quezon Avenue from the morning of September 6th. Drivers, workers, and people’s organizations will pay tribute to him in the nights of his wake, and vow to continue his struggles. #

 

KMU Chairperson Elmer Labog
     
Bayan Muna President Satur Ocampo
     

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño

           
     
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Renato Reyes, BAYAN Secretary General
     
=          
==          
     
     
           

 

What makes a hero?
By Jose Maria Sison


It’s not the manner of death
That makes someone a hero
It is the meaning drawn
From the struggles against the foe.

There is the hero who dies in the battlefield,
There is the hero who dies of hunger and disease,
There is the hero who dies of some accident,
There is the hero who dies of old age.

Whatever is the manner of death
There is a common denominator
A hero serves the people
To his very last breath.

10 December 1977

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The readers of Arkibong Bayan are invited to click: http://www.josemariasison.org/  This is the authorized website of Prof. Jose Maria Sison.  It has been recently restructured and improved by its editors.  Thank you for your attention.

 

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Para sa Inyo, Mga Kasamang Kampyon ng Bayan
(Alay kina Alex at Ka Roda)

ni Dreamworker too

Kung papaano kayo umanib
Sa sanlaksang kandilang nagsaboy-liwanag,
Kung papaano kayo nakiguhit
Ng pagbabago na pluma ng taumbayan ang gamit,
Kung papaano kayo naghinagpis nang tahimik
Habang kung di nakangiti't umaawit
ay mithiin ng mamamayan ang buong-tapang na inuusal...
Sa kabila ng pighati sa inyong pagpanaw,
kami'y nagpapasalamat
sa halimbawa, lakas at buhay na inyong ibinahagi
na sana'y aming madugtungan ng katumbas na sigasig.
 

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Para kina Ka Alex at Ka Roda
ni Rey Casambre

Tiyak habang kayo'y payapang nakahimlay
Mga kasama't kaibigang nakatipo'y nakikiramay
Nalulungkot, nanghihinaya't nalulumbay
Namimighati sa inyong pagkawalay.

Tiyak na nagiging usap-usapan
kung ano ang dahilan ng inyong kamatayan,
ano ang dumapong imbing karamdaman
Ano ba't di ito linunasan, nalabanan.

Maaaring mapansin ang pagkakaiba
ng dagliang pagbagsak ng katawan na batang-bata pa
sa naratay na beteranong panday sa pakikibaka
Kapwa marami sanang maipaglilingkod pa

O kaya'y mapansi't maihambing ang pagkakatulad
Ng kamay na mapanlikhang gumamit ng panulat
At yaong sa manibela't mikropono'y humawak
Sa hangad na mapalaya ang bayang hinahamak.

Masdan niyo, Ka Alex, Ka Roda, kaming narito ngayon
Upang sa inyo'y magpugay at mga aral makalikom
Damhin niyo ang lungkot na sa ami'y nakalambong
Sa panlulumo't dalamhati pilit na bumabangon.

Di nga ba't sa inyong pagpanaw tiyak uusbong
Mga kasamang prinsipyo at gawai ninyo'y isusulong
Buhay ninyo'y halimbawa, modelo't inspirasyon
Sa pagpupunyaging maabot ang dakilang layon.

Balang araw walang magtatanong sa dahilan ng kamatayan
Diareya, diabetes, diaboliko't anupaman,
Tanging mahalaga at siyang matatandaan
Paglilingkod na walang imbot, hithit nang kadakilaan.

Walang dahilan kung bakit di kayang gawin
Kalungkuta't dalamhati ay aming ibabaling
Sa rebolusyonaryong alab, sipag at giting
Hanggang araw ng tagumpay, tiyak na mararating!

 

KADAMAY Chairperson Leona Zarsuela
Willy Marbella, KMP
Ferdie Gaite, COURAGE
Fr. Dionito Cabillas

Dr. Geneve Rivera-Reyes, Health Alliance for Democrary

           
     

 

A member of the Joint Secretariat of the NDFP Joint Monitoring Committee reads the message of Luis Jalandoni, Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, while the NDFP flag is displayed in front of the casket of Ka Roda. A message from the Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions (RCTU) and a message from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) are also read while an RCTU flag and a CPP banner are displayed. Both messages honor Ka Roda for his patriotic work in fighting for the interest of the toiling masses, particularly the workers in the transport industry, and against the imperialists, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists.

 

     

 

Ang iyong pagyao at ang libong nagpupugay. Paalam Ka Roda.

Mula sa blog ni Gly Gotiangco

http://glygotiangco.blogspot.com/2010/09/ang-iyong-pagyao-at-ang-libong.html

 

 

 

Huli kong nakita si Ka Roda sa isang tribute sa kanya noong Pebrero 14, 2009. Naimbitahan ang People’s Chorale na umawit ng mga lumang awitin na paborito ni Ka Roda.

Ang repertoire ng People’s Chorale para sa araw na iyon ay Moonriver, Fernando ng Abba na me lyrics na “there was something in the air that night, the stars were bright Fernando (na pinalitan namin ng Medardo), Here, There and Everywhere, at Something Stupid. Pero sa huli, ang 2 kantang inawit namin ay Moonriver at Around the World. Pula ang ni-require na damit para sa mga dadalo at magtatanghal ng araw ng iyon. Pula dahil sa nagpapatuloy at di nagmamaliw na pagpupugay at pagmamahal ng kilusang masa kay Ka Roda, o dahil din siguro araw ng mga puso!

Hindi karaniwan ang araw na iyon. Una, bagamat korni, kadalasan sa araw ng mga puso, aminin man natin o hindi, ay may sariling date ang mga may karelasyon at/o mag-asawa. Hindi karaniwan dahil si Ka Roda ang ka-date ng mga kasama. Parangal/tribute na natatangi at nararapat lamang para sa isang kasamang binansagang “most rebellious driver the country has ever had” ng dating diktador na si Ferdinand Marcos pero most loved sa kilusang masa.

Naalala ko rin a few years back, 2 beses kong nakasabay magpa-acupunture sa Council for Health and Development (CHD) si Ka Roda. Parehong nilalagyan ng aparato ang mga karayom namin na nagdadala ng kaunting electric current. Si Ka Roda ng mga panahon na iyon ay hindi pa naka-wheel chair.

Sa sumunod na pagkakataong nakita ko si Ka Roda, naka-wheel chair na siya. Ito ay sa parangal ni Ka Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran. Isa si Ka Roda sa mga nagpadaloy ng luha ko sa maraming nag-alay ng awit at pananalita. Hindi naging hadlang ang hirap nya sa pagsasalita nung panahon ng parangal para maramdaman at maipaabot nya ang matinding pighati sa pagpanaw ng isa sa dakilang lider manggagawa ng bansa.

Ngayong ikaw naman ang pararangalan, bukas ala-6 ng gabi sa UCCP, kami naman ang paniyak paluluhain mo Ka Roda – pagkat ikaw ay pinakamamahal di lamang ng mga drayber na iyong pinamunuan sa mahabang panahon bilang dating pangulo ng Piston kundi ng lahat ng sektor na nagpupugay sa di matatawarang kontribusyon mo at paglahok sa pakikibaka ng sambayanang inaapi.

Hindi man inabot ng mga nakababatang henerasyon ng mga tibak ang nakilala naming magaling na lider masa, bubuhayin ang iyong mga alala sa pagpapatuloy ng pakikibaka para sa tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya.

Maraming salamat at pinakamataas na pagpupugay Ka Roda!

 

BAYAN NCR's Roy Velez
 Youngest child of Ka Roda speaks in behalf of the family
     
           
     
     
     

 

Taas-kamaong pagpupugay kay Ka Roda
Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas
Setyembre 6, 2010

http://www.philippinerevolution.net/cgi-bin/statements/stmts.pl?author=cpp;date=100906;lang=pil



Nagbibigay-pugay ang lahat ng kasapi ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) at rebolusyonaryong kilusang Pilipino kay Kasamang Medardo Roda (Ka Roda) na pumanaw kahapon, Setyembre 5, dahil sa atake sa puso. Ipinaaabot ng PKP ang taos-puso nitong pakikiramay sa mga kamag-anak, kaibigan at mga kasama ni Ka Roda. Nakikiisa kami sa inyong pagdadalamhati.

Si Ka Roda ay habampanahon na maaalala sa kanyang naging mahahalagang ambag sa pakikibaka ng mga drayber, manggagawa at malamanggagawa at sa pagsusulong ng pambansa-demokratikong kilusan ng sambayanang Pilipino.

Ipinanganak si Ka Roda noong Oktubre 27, 1934 sa Libmanan, Camarines Sur. Nagmula siya sa uring magsasaka. Napadpad siya sa Maynila kung saan ipinagpatuloy niya ang kanyang pag-aaral. Namasukan siya bilang drayber ng taksi at kalaunan bilang drayber ng dyip sa rutang Cubao-V.Luna.

Naging pinuno si Ka Roda ng kanilang lokal na samahan ng mga drayber. Pinangunahan niya ang pakikibaka ng mga drayber at agad tumampok ang kanyang pangalan. Hindi nagtagal, nahalal siya bilang isa sa mga bise-presidente ng Piston (Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide) nang itinatag ito ng 1981. Pagkalipas ng ilang buwan, mahahalal si Ka Roda bilang pangulo ng Piston.

Dahil sa pangunguna niya sa mga kilos-protesta sa lansangan, dinakip at ikinulong si Ka Roda ng diktadurang US-Marcos noong 1983, kasama ang iba pang lider anakpawis. Pagkalaya niya, tuluy-tuloy siyang nasa unahan ng mga malawakang welga ng mga drayber at anakpawis. Pinangunahan niya ang mga kilos-protesta laban sa pagtaas ng presyo ng langis. Muli siyang ikinulong noong 1988 at 1990 sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Aquino.

Mahal na mahal si Ka Roda ng mga kapwa niya drayber, ng masang anakpawis at malawak na sambayanang Pilipino. Kinagiliwan ang kanyang simpleng paraan ng pagpapaliwanag ng mga kumplikadong usapin, pati na ang kanyang pagtatalumpating sinasaliwan ng mga pag-awit ng kundiman sa ibabaw ng dyip sa mga kilos-protesta. Ang kanyang paninindigan at pakikipaglaban ay nagbigay-inspirasyon sa libu-libo na bagtasin ang landas ng pambansa- demokratikong pakikibaka.

Mabuhay ang alaala ni Ka Roda!

Mabuhay ang demokratikong kilusan ng mga drayber!

Mabuhayang uring manggagawa, masang anakpawis at sambayanang Pilipino!

Isulong ang demokratikong rebolusyon ng bayan!
 

     
     
           
     
Ka Roda's grandchildren offer a song to their lolo  

Sining Bogkus leads the friends and comrades of Ka Roda in singing his favorite anthem

     
Last goodbyes to Ka Roda
     

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Two men who lived, fought for the 'masa'
AT GROUND LEVEL By Satur C. Ocampo (The Philippine Star) Updated September 11, 2010

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=610923&publicationSubCategoryId=64

Two days apart last week, two hardy men, one young, one elderly, passed away quietly. The young man’s death on September 3 spurred a torrent of messages of sympathy and paeans mostly from young poets, writers and activists, through their blogs and Facebook pages. The elderly man’s passing on September 5, on the other hand, spawned the onrush of memories about the anti-martial law struggle among his surviving colleagues, including myself.

The young man was Alexander Martin Remollino, 33, activist writer, poet and journalist. He died of lung infection due to diabetes at the Philippine General Hospital. A member of the National Union of Journalists, Alex wrote for the online newsmagazine Bulatlat. com from 2003 to 2010. When he died he was information officer and researcher for Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).

The elderly man was Medardo Roda, 76, chairman emeritus of PISTON (Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide). His fifth stroke since 2002 led to cardiac arrest with multiple seizures, causing his death at the East Avenue Medical Center. Tonight his comrades in the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Bayan will honor “Ka Roda” and his 30 years of activism.

Ka Roda and the late Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, KMU chair when he died, were both labor icons, former taxi drivers who drove to rally assembly points in their old-model cars. Unquestionable was their integrity and dedication to the workers’ cause and to our people’s struggles against the Marcos dictatorship, the US military bases, and neoliberal globalization. They fought for freedom, justice, and human rights. At the head of protest marches they stood out, two robust muscular men with solid clenched fists. Their speeches were fiery, but they could make audiences laugh with their peculiar sense of humor.

In 1983, the two were detained for rebellion. After more than a year Ka Roda was released. Ka Bel, who was held longer, escaped before Marcos was ousted. I myself escaped in 1985 after nine years in military detention. Years later, Ka Roda and I would recall with amusement the tags that Marcos had put on us: he called Ka Roda “the most rebellious driver the Philippines ever had” and me, a “viciously militant rebel who continues to commit rebellion in prison.”

Ka Roda’s leadership imprint remains in the way PISTON, organized in 1981, continues to fight against unregulated oil price hikes and unjust impositions on public utility drivers and operators. He will be sorely missed in protest actions.

Alex Remollino may have lived in circumstances less perilous than under martial law. Yet his heart raged against oppression, exploitation, corruption and abuses, surging ferociously in his writings, particularly his poetry, no less intensely than what we had felt long ago. 

But that rage never showed in Alex’s mien or body language. Addressing him after learning of his death, a friend wrote: “Who could forget your stories about wanting to punch certain people in the face? Politicians, military men, high-ranking government officials… Oh but you kept your temper, and what anger you felt you channeled into your writing, your poetry. You controlled your temper and all that the world saw was you smiling, even if your written words always betrayed that under that smiling exterior was a young man who felt such fire, such compassion for the poor, such love for their struggle.” 

A university professor and long-time activist observed that Alex used “sharp language in calling to account those who cause the people’s sufferings…” but employed “endearing language in paying tribute to the struggling masses.” She compared Alex to Emilio Jacinto, the bright young writer of the Katipunan whose words Alex posted in his Facebook page: “Life that is not consecrated to a lofty purpose is like a tree without a shadow, if not a poisonous weed.”

Although he preferred to identify himself simply as “a writer and development worker in the Philippines,” Alex had already had a poem, “Tuparin Natin ang Banta ng ating Panahon” (Defying the Challenge of the Times), set to music and used in a video that won second prize in the 18th Gawad CCP para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video. He also co-authored the book, Subverting the People’s Will: The May 10, 2004 Elections, published by the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG).

Another admirer noted how journalism nourished the poetry: “Alex used for his poetry the truths he gleaned from his journalism. Unlike other young poets who found muses from the imagined, Alex drew inspiration from the real sentiments and aspirations, agony and hope of the masses. What he would not share with friends and colleagues would end up in his poems, told more fervently, told more gracefully.”

Alex Remollino and Medardo Roda, with many others before them, may have lapsed into history, but the people’s struggle goes on for as long as the conditions they raged against basically persist. And as the struggle develops new forms, good persons step forward to do their share. Thus is how history is made.
 

Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus and PISTON leader George San Mateo
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Bayan Muna President Satur Ocampo
     
           
     
KMU/PISTON leaders
     

 

Inspiring Pioneer of Philippine Drivers’ Movement Gave His Final ‘Boundary’
Published on September 11, 2010
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL and MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/11/inspiring-pioneer-of-philippine-drivers%E2%80%99-movement-gave-his-final-%E2%80%98boundary%E2%80%99/'


MANILA — Medardo Roda, “Ka Roda” to friends and foes, the tall figure that rallied drivers and operators to the Philippine progressive drivers’ movement from the time PISTON was formed in 1981 to this decade, the well-remembered voice of the marginalized that tirelessly rail at the connivance of the Philippine state and oil cartel against workers and transport drivers, yet sing also of love for one’s country and cracked jokes, passed away on September 5 due to cardiac arrest.

As the pioneering leader and later Chairman Emeritus of PISTON (Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide), Ka Roda, as the KMU put it, is unarguably the most famous and most well-loved transport leader this country has ever had. His towering presence, literally and figuratively, in the struggle for just treatment of transport workers and of the marginalized sectors in general, inspires the younger progressive transport leaders and stymies the yellow transport leaders into ignominy by comparison.

PISTON is one of the national federations affiliated with the Kilusang Mayo Uno; it is the organization where Ka Roda mostly concretized his struggle for national freedom and genuine democracy for more than 30 years.

A Peasant Turned Driver And Mass Leader

Born on October 27, 1934 to a peasant family in Libmanan, Camarines Sur, the young Medardo, like his fellow children of farmers, started tilling the farm fields to help his parents in between going to school. He attended the Bicol Central Academy where he was a consistent student leader until he finished high school in 1954.

Ka Roda during the Martial Law years. (Photo courtesy of Arkibong Bayan / bulatlat.com)

He went to Manila to find work and continue studying. Referred by his brother, he worked for the family of a senator. While working for this family, he took up automotive in 1957 and then continued to work in the car rental business of his employer’s son.

In the latter half of 1960 Medardo Roda quit his job and started driving a taxi. But after being the victim of hold-ups for four times, he quit the taxi for the jeepney in 1978.

Plying the Cubao-V. Luna route, he joined meetings and discussions of transport organizations, where he was soon elected as president of their local association of drivers and operators. In 1980 the KMU was established and it consolidated its “transport committee” which resulted in the founding of PISTON a year later.

Under the sham lifting of martial rule, Ka Roda was elected at first as third vice president of PISTON, but a few months later he started serving as its president.

Leading the Drivers’ Struggle

One of the first campaigns Ka Roda led was the scrapping of PD 1605, which cancelled a driver’s license on his third offense, no matter how small the traffic violation was. Whenever they conducted transport strikes, Ka Roda recalled how mad the Quezon City Mayor’s office was because they were able to paralyze public transport.

Ka Roda speaking with a police official. (Photo courtesy of Pinoy Weekly / bulatlat.com)

Because Ka Roda was able to rally drivers and operators to conduct protest actions, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos had him arrested and jailed in 1983, together with other renowned mass leaders of the progressive labor movement. After being released from jail, he continued to lead transport and workers’ strikes, as well as other protest actions against oil price hikes. He was imprisoned twice under the Arroyo government in 1988 and 1990.

For his steadfast leadership, Ka Roda earned the love and trust of his fellow drivers and the working people. His down-to-earth explanations of even complex issues, sometimes punctuated with song and dance and jokes onstage, endeared him to many, including journalists such as radio reporters who enjoyed interviewing him on air.

Humble, Witty Mass Leader

Although an icon and pioneer of the progressive driver’s movement in the country, Ka Roda was respected as a humble leader with a fervent drive to fight for the rights of the marginalized. Despite the seriousness of the issues faced by drivers, Ka Roda was also admired for his dry wit.

“There was never a dull moment when Ka Roda was around,” George San Mateo of Piston said.

He was constantly funny and helpful to comrades and drivers that he led and organized, but in front of government officials during dialogues, Ka Roda was serious and could not be bullied. “Because he was tall and strong-looking and had a forceful voice, he could awe government officials in dialogues,” San Mateo said.

Devoted to the cause of drivers, Ka Roda still attended dialogues and rallies as much as he could even after he had suffered a stroke in 2002 and then in 2003. “Whenever we updated him on the plans and activities of PISTON, he insisted on attending its meetings and activities even if he already had difficulty in walking,” San Mateo said.

Principled

Ka Roda is “someone who never saw himself as different from others who look up to him as a leader,” said Modesto Floranda, a friend and comrade of Ka Roda since the late 1980s.

Floranda recalled how a driver once invited Ka Roda to eat at a popular fast food restaurant, but Ka Roda replied: “Why would we eat there? Do you have money? We will eat where you usually eat. You don’t need to treat us to that restaurant.”

“Ka Roda was a leader who refused to be bribed by the government or oil companies. Unlike those so-called leaders of other federations of drivers’ groups such as Fejodap, Pasang Masda and PCDO-Acto, he did not enrich himself in the process. He never accepted anything from the government to stay true to his principles,” Floranda said.

The government had reportedly tried to bribe Ka Roda by offering him a position at the Road Board, a commission managing the road user’s tax. “That’s a subtle form of bribery, but Ka Roda rejected it,” said Steve Ranjo, Piston national president.

Ka Roda, longtime chair of the transport group Piston. (Photo grab from Ruta ni Roda (Roda’s Route), a documentary produced by Kodao Productions / bulatlat.com)

On the eve of every transport strike, Ranjo said, many government officials would desperately contact Ka Roda to ask him to call it off. “The government would ask for a dialogue, but Ka Roda almost always never attended those last-minute dialogues because experience had taught him that during these occasions the government would only bribe transport leaders. Even traffic enforcers respected him for his incorruptibility,” Ranjo said.

A Humble Public Utility Driver

“As a driver, he supported his seven children through his own earnings. Whenever an oil price hike loomed, he knew the fear and difficulties of his fellow drivers and their families. He therefore strongly opposed oil price hikes together with other marginalized sectors. His point of view is not limited to the driver’s sector only, but also encompassed that of the whole nation,” said Floranda.

Later in his life, when he was forced to walk with a cane, Ka Roda, as chairman emeritus of Piston, still helped to raise funds for Piston’s national congress. “Through his efforts, he was able to raise 90 percent of the funds spent for our third national congress in April 2007,” San Mateo said.

Ka Roda during the wake of fellow labor leader Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, in May 2008 at IFI Church, Manila. (Photo courtesy of Arkibong Bayan / bulatlat.com)

Before he became bed-ridden in August 2007, Ka Roda had been going out of town to facilitate the oath-taking of new PISTON members. He also still attended dialogues with mayors and representative of different district offices of the Land Transportation Office.

“He was indeed a pillar of the Filipino transport workers’ movement,” San Mateo said.

Proud of Ka Roda

Gerry Roda, 36, youngest son of Ka Roda, is proud of his father. He appreciates their father’s efforts in having sent them to school alongside his active participation in the progressive people’s movement. He described Ka Roda as a patient father. “Very seldom did he lecture his children but whenever he did he was very serious.”

To Gerry, his father was a silent man who often read books and newspapers when at home. “But he would still check on how we were doing.”

Gerry recalled how he had been teased by his classmates, and how he had been ashamed when Ka Roda was apprehended by governments from Marcos to Cory Aquino. “Sometimes, I refrained from mentioning who my father was, admitting it only to my friends when they asked.”

“I was too young then to understand, but now I can say proudly to everyone that he is my father.”

Ka Roda’s life has imparted a shining example for the nationwide transport workers’ movement, in particular, and the progressive labor movement, in general. He leaves behind his wife, seven children and the broad masses of fellow drivers and toiling people who had come to cherish, respect and admire him for what he did and what he represents. (Bulatlat.com)

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
Prof Joi Barrios, BAYAN women desk Renato Reyes, BAYAN secretary general Roy Velez, BAYAN NRC head
     
           
   
Video Clips
   
   

Prof. Joi Barrios recites: "Liham sa mga Kasama"

Ka Osang Beltran pays tribute to Ka Roda

   

Louie and Lou sing at the parangal kay Ka Roda

Message of tribute to Ka Roda of ILPS Chair Prof. Jose Maria Sison read by Rita Baua

   

Sining Bugkos sings at Tribute to Ka Roda

 
   

KMU Tribute to Ka Roda read by Steve Ranjo, Part I

KMU tribute to Ka Roda read by Steve Ranjo, Part II

   
   
News and articles on Ka Roda
   
   

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Pioneer of militant transport movement, 'Ka Roda' dies, 75 ‎ - 6 days ago
 

A pioneer of the militant transport sector during the Marcos years, Medardo Roda, died of cardiac arrest at age 75 on Sunday. Known as “Ka Roda," he who ...

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Taas-kamaong pagpupugay kay Ka Roda - PinoyExchange

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1 post - 1 author

Si Ka Roda ay habampanahon na maaalala sa kanyang naging mahahalagang ambag sa ... Ipinanganak si Ka Roda noong Oktubre 27, 1934 sa Libmanan, Camarines Sur. ...
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Inspiring Pioneer of Philippine Drivers' Movement Gave His Final ...

11 Sep 2010 ... MANILA — Medardo Roda, “Ka Roda” to friends and foes, the tall figure that rallied drivers and operators to the Philippine progressive ...
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Pinoy Weekly | Ruta ni Ka Roda*

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Medardo “Ka Roda” Roda (1934-2010) « A Radical's Nut

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7 Set 2010 ... Ka Roda, pioneer of the progressive drivers' movement in the country, passed away on September 5 due to cardiac arrest (Photo from ...
arnoldpadilla.wordpress.com/.../medardo-ka-roda-roda-1934-2010/ - Cached

 

 

 

 

           
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