Revolutionaries, progressive organizations pay tribute to Ka Parts Bagani
Days after his brutal killing, scores of portraits and tributes to Ka Parts Bagani were posted online by various organizations. Revolutionaries and progressive artists honored both his contributions to military and cultural work.
Ka Parts (John Niebres/Ernie Peñaranda) was brutally murdered last August 16 in Barangay Cannery, Polomolok, South Cotabato by military and police operatives. He was unarmed and in no position to fight. He sustained six wounds in different parts of his body.
The Communist Party of the Philippines hailed Ka Parts as a Red artist of the people and valiant warrior of the people’s army. “Ka Parts devoted his entire life and artistic talent to the Filipino people and their struggle against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.”
Ka Parts “cherished the people’s army deeply and would always insist that if he were not in the NPA and in the countryside, his inspiration for his art would dry up,” said Ka Rigoberto Sanchez, NPA-SMR spokesman.
“He helped plan and execute several successful tactical offensives. He created excellent maps, sandboxes and materials for war games during preparations for these military actions. He was an excellent instructor during politico-military trainings and gave incisive assessments during military conferences,” added Sanchez.
His three decades in the countryside, the NPA said, “honed and sharpened his craft”. The Red fighters in Southern Mindanao and the CPP paid tribute to Ka Parts Bagani, whose enduring artistry will inspire and mobilize thousands upon thousand more to the path of the national democratic revolution.
Ka Joma Sison, in his tribute to Ka Parts, posted on Facebook a picture of him with Parts’ large oil painting which he donated and dedicated to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and an art work that depicts a guerilla fighter “merged with the trees” which is his rendition to Joma’s “The Guerilla is Like a Poet” as his backdrop.
“He is almost a legend among activists, revolutionaries and even art critics,” said the NDFP National Executive Committee in paying tribute to Ka Parts. “He is an artist who has shown us how to lead an armed attack through his art and armed revolution.” The NDFP said his brutal and treacherous killing violates the Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law.
Artista at Manunulat ng Sambayanan (Armas), an underground organization of artists and writers, recalled how Parts was among the thousands who was recruited during the height of the struggles against Marcos dictatorship in the 1980s and the advancement of revolutionary movement nationwide. He was part of the Davao City-based Magenta, a progressive artist group. He actively assisted in producing streamers, banners, posters and murals for protest actions.
He moved to Tagum, Davao del Norte where he experienced first hand the plight of agricultural workers. This is where he decided to take up the highest form of struggle. In the countryside and mountain ranges of Mindanao he developed himself as Ka Parts Bagani.
Panday Sining, a progressive cultural organization, said Ka Parts’ reminds us of Mao Zedong’s reminder to revolutionary cultural workers: “(Our literary and art workers) must gradually move their feet over to the side of the workers, peasants and soldiers, to the side of the proletariat, through the process of going into their very midst and into the thick of practical struggles and through the process of studying Marxism and society.”
“His life and revolutionary works serve as inspiration to the next generations of peoples artists who will live and persist in the struggle for genuine democracy,” said the Youth group Anakbayan Metro Manila and Sining Ang Bala ng Kabataan.
The UP College of Fine Arts Student Council highlighted that the lives offered by people’s artist like Parts proved that art will never bow to the interest of those in power, it is liberating, for the people and reflects the plight of the oppressed.
“The most beautiful forms of art are made through integrating with the masses,” they stressed.