Salute to Ka Gonyong! Continue his revolutionary endeavors!
Propagandist, writer, teacher, promoter of mass work—these are the lasting images that always come to mind whenever the masses and revolutionaries hear the name Ka Gonyong or Serb, better known by his real name Pedro Codaste.
Ka Gonyong was born on January 16, 1949 in Butuan City. His father was an employee of Nasipit Lumber Corporation (NALCO). Ka Gonyong also worked in the company for a short time.
Ka Gonyong took up BS Commerce at the Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City. While in school, he was organized by the Samahang Demokratikong Kabataan (SDK or Democratic Youth Organization) in the 1970s during which he was first enlightened about the social system. He also became a member of the Kabataang Makabayan (Patriotic Youth) and was forced to work underground after its members were persecuted under martial law rule of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
In 1975, Ka Gonyong joined full-time in the New People’s Army where he was among the first batch. He became part of the first guerrilla front which expanded the revolutionary movement from Agusan del Norte to Magsaysay-Gingoog, Misamis Oriental. Ka Gonyong was among the Red fighters who carried out the first tactical offensives and mass works in Northern Mindanao Region.
In late 1975, Ka Gonyong was arrested in Barangay Culit, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte and was detained at the Provincial Jail in Butuan City. He was, however, released not long after.
In late 1981, he returned to the NPA and was immediately deployed to the territorial unit of District 4, Front 4. Due to necessity of work, he would later be reassigned to the Front Information Bureau (FIB) of Front 4 in the mid-1982, a task Ka Gonyong warmly took on.
In late 1983 to 1984 he was again reassigned as secretary of District 4, F4A and later became deputy secretary in July 1984 to 1987.
From 1988 to 1990, he served as secretary of the Provincial Mass Movement Committee or PMMC in Agusan del Norte. This was during the “provincialization” where all guerrilla fronts merged as Agusan Norte Provincial Committee. He became the secretary of F4A from 1991 to 1995.
Ka Gonyong was not fastidious about the work he is assigned to by the Party and was daring in performing his tasks.
He made great contributions in spearheading the Second Great Rectification Movement (SGRM) in Northern Mindanao Region.
Ka Gonyong was a fine teacher of Party and political studies. He contributed significantly in the region’s effort to mount the Party’s study courses, from basic to advanced. He diligently and consistently read classical readings in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. He will not be forgotten by his students for his lively and clear explanation on his topic. Ka Gonyong also contributed greatly in translation of English or Filipino documents and literature into Bisaya so these could be better understood by the masses and comrades.
Ka Gonyong was also diligent in writing propaganda materials that promoted and explained general revolutionary principles. Most of his writings contain analysis of the current political situation, criticism of state violence and so on. He also wrote literature such as poems and songs. Under favorable circumstances, he jammed with young revolutionaries in playing the guitar and singing his original compositions.
From 1998 to 2009, Ka Gonyong served as deputy secretary of the NCMR.
He was detained again in December 2010. He was released in 2016 to serve as peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace talks with the Philippine government.
In the Second Congress of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) launched in 2016, Ka Gonyong was among the nominees for the Central Committee. Subsequently, he was assigned to the Political Department under the National Operational Command of the New People’s Army. He served as a partner of Ka Oris (Jorge Madlos) in the national command.
Ka Gonyong was abducted by enemy operatives at his residence in Cagayan de Oro City on January 19, 2022. On January 25, the enemy then bragged that they had killed Ka Gonyong in an encounter in Kalabugao, Impasug-ong on January 21. In fact, no encounter took place that day and there were no NPA members at that time in the said area.
The CPP-NCMR gives the highest salute to Ka Gonyong. We also extend condolences to his wife and five children. His contributions will always live on and will serve an inspiration for the young revolutionaries.
The state can kill revolutionaries like Ka Gonyong in cold blood but they can never kill the revolution. They instead only heighten the class hatred of the young revolutionaries and widen the path for advancing the people’s democratic revolution to victory.