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“Unless we take steps to address the root problems of our society, more young people will follow Kemberly’s footsteps in the days to come”

— From a tribute of the League of Filipino Students (Lanao) to Kemberly Jul Luna who died in Decmber 2009 in Bukidnon

IN MEMORY OF KEMBERLY JUL LUNA:  ISKOLAR NG BAYAN, FREEDOM FIGHTER

January 4, 2010


“Umaalis ang mga anak upang habulin ang kanilang mga pangarap, at malao’t madali, maraming magulang ang tumutunton sa duguang bakas ng kanilang mga anak…upang sunduin ang kanilang bangkay at iuwi ang pinakadakilang katibayan ng kanilang pagkatao.” – Lualhati Bautista

We, from the League of Filipino Students (LFS) and the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights (STAND) in MSU-IIT, express our utmost grief and sorrow over the death of our beloved comrade Kemberly Jul Luna.

Kemberly, or “Kimay,” as she was known to her friends and comrades, was an AB English student in MSU-IIT. Known for her beauty and intellect, Kimay showed a lot of talent and  gained many friends inside and outside of the school . She was a high school valedictorian and participated in many academic and cultural events. She was, for a time, a member of MSU-IIT’s Kalimulan, a cultural dance group.

She was also an active member of the Catholic Center Campus Ministry  where she became a leader of the Educational Committee. There, amidst the daily masses, boarding house meetings and other activities, she concluded that faith without action is dead. She always sought for ways to show that her Christian faith will not be confined to empty words and prayers, but will be brought out to the real world and be coupled by relevant action based on concrete conditions. She believed that faith should not be a lifeless dogma. She believed that just like Jesus, one must bring faith to serving the people— without thought of oneself. And just like Jesus, to die in service of the poor and oppressed.

She joined LFS in early 2008 and was an active participant in the League’s many activities, including the National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission (NIHM) of October 2008 in the face of humanitarian crises plaguing the war-stricken Moroland. She was part of the local secretariat and headed the area preparation committee in Poona Piagapo, one of the target municipalities for the Mission. Daring as always, Kimay did not hesitate entering the war-torn village of Tagoranao to uncover the effects of indiscriminate aerial bombing and militarization in the area. She also convinced one of the victims to make a testimony openly on the events in the affected areas in Lanao.

She actively joined the “No to All-Out War” campaign and various other campaigns, including the campaign against US intervention in the country and militarization of peasant and Moro communities.


At the opening of the first semester, she was chosen as the ad hoc chairperson of STAND-IIT. From then on she brought the cry of the youth and student sector in classroom and group discussions and out to the streets in rallies where she acted as STAND-IIT’s official spokesperson.

Kemberly was a very good example to her comrades and to the people around her. She showed youthful fervor and gave her heart to everything she did inside the organization. As an ordinary student, she was once quite a heavy drinker and a late riser, but when after she joined the League, she showed exemplary effort to remould herself  and do away with her old habits. She shed herself off of all the petty-bourgeois individualism.

At the opening of the second semester, we found out that she did not enroll. Later, she requested to be relieved as STAND-IIT chairperson, saying that she would stop school and do full-time peasant organizing work with KASAMA-Bukidnon, a province-wide peasant organization. She stood firm with her decision, saying she would like to do more in service of the poor, and that she could only do that in the countryside, where the majority of the poorest people live. On January 2009, after a short Christmas visit to her family in Surigao, Kemberly went off to Bukidnon to start her community work. She promised however that she would maintain correspondence with us.

On August 2009, we received a letter from her saying that she left KASAMA-Bukidnon but did not say where she went to and that she is happy where she was at that time, and that she has learned to love the peasant masses more with each day she lives with them. Kimay also happily shared to us her experiences in the peasant communities, from helping the peasants harvest corn to teaching them to read and write and do a little arithmetic, since literacy in the area is extremely low. She was also known to the people in the community as a health worker, often called as “Ma’am Nurse.”

Kimay is a true “iskolar ng bayan,” who did not waste the people’s tax money spent for her education only for personal ambitions, but used her time, talent and intellect in service of the people. She traded her comfortable life of night parties and hangovers for the cold, harsh and mosquito-ridden mountains of Bukidnon because she knew that she was on the right path.

In mid-December last year, we learned that Kemberly was missing through a report from Karapatan-Bukidnon Chapter, a human rights organization. A number of LFS and STAND-IIT members went to Bukidnon to join the search. We searched for her in the camp of the 403rd Inf Bde, 4th ID, PA but the officials of the brigade prevented us from entering the camp and denied that Kemberly was in their hands. During the middle of the search however, we learned that Kemberly died in an encounter with elements of the Philippine Army in Sitio Bulacao, Brgy. Concepcion, Valencia City. She was a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).


We found Kimay’s corpse lying with a few others in the middle of the forest of Bulacao, unattended by the state forces who were bound by agreement to respect the casualties of war, combatant or not.

But Kimay died an honorable death. She died because she fought for what she believed in until the very last minute of her life. She chose the path of armed struggle, firmly believing that there is no greater form of struggle to advance the interests of the toiling masses.

She broke the stereotype that the New People’s Army is a pack of delinquents— of tramps who lack a better future.

We salute Kimay for her determination. She was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice— all for the interest of the people without thinking of herself. She has proven that this rotten social system breeds unrest and many of the younger generation long for a better society that is based on social justice. This system pushes many of our youth to take up arms to achieve the national democratic goal. We believe that her death poses a challenge to all of us— that unless we take steps to address the root problems of our society, more and more young people will follow Kemberly’s footsteps in the days to come.

We also salute her parents, who were in deep pain, but calmly accepted her fate. They respected her decision to choose the path less traveled.

The League of Filipino Students and STAND-IIT vow to pursue the national democratic struggle, not just because this is precious to Kemberly, but because we believe in its relevance in answering today’s basic social problems. We stand firm, as Kimay did, that a true people’s scholar should not confine himself/herself inside the four walls of the classroom and study empty theories on the chalkboard. A true scholar uses his/her talents and intellect to serve the studentry, as well as the broad masses of the people. A true scholar like Kemberly never allows one;s schooling to interfere with one’s education.

Long live the memory of Kemberly Jul Luna!

Long live the national democratic struggle!


Anti-VFA protests ahead Clinton’s visit to Manila

MANILA – At least 100 members of a students’ activist group on Wednesday held a lightning protest in front of the United States embassy in Manila, signalling a series of demonstrations during US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit in the Philippines.

Terry Ridon, secretary-general of the League of Filipino Students, led at least 100 youth activists protesting the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in front of the US embassy along Roxas Boulevard.

“Bumabati ang mga estudyante, ang mga kabataan (The students, the youth are greeting [Mrs. Clinton],” Ridon said, adding that they will be holding similar protests against VFA while Clinton is in the country.

Clinton will stay in Manila on Thursday noon until Friday before attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Singapore.

Clinton is set to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministerial Meeting and will stop by the Philippines on Thursday noon until Friday. It will be Clinton’s first visit to the Philippines as US Secretary of State.

Clinton’s spokesman Ian Kelly said in a statement released Saturday that the US secretary of state will hold consultations with senior Philippine officials and tackle US-Philippines treaty alliance.

Malacañang said that aside from discussing US-RP treaties, Mrs. Arroyo will also discuss with Clinton next year’s elections and the “smooth turnover of power” in 2010.

Ridon said student activists will return to the US embassy on Thursday to welcome Clinton and make her hear their sentiments against the VFA.

as of 11/11/2009 3:04 PM

Imagine that being denied enrollment at your high school due to military pressure, for 15 yr old, Phobe Kate Tubera because she is an activist, chairperson of the League of Filipino Students (LFS). The faculty told that she can enroll if she signs a waiver that prohibit her from organizing and leading protests.

Read more: Only 15, Student Confronts Military-Backed Political Repression in Quezon City School


For Immediate Release

April 21, 2009

Contact: Marisa Mariano, Chair, Babae-GABRIELA USA, 415-333-6267, info@babaesf.org

San Francisco Filipino Women Rise Up Through Art

San Francisco, CA—As the weekend of International Worker’s Day, or Mayo Uno, approaches, the women of Babae-GABRIELA USA, League of Filipino Students, and Diwata Young Women’s Group prepare to not only celebrate the contributions of the working class worldwide, but to also celebrate the experiences and contributions of one of San Francisco’s distinct immigrant working populations, Filipino women. On Sunday, May 3, 2009, Babae, LFS, and Diwata hosts the 7th Annual Filipina Women’s Showcase, Diwang Pinay.

Diwang Pinay (Spirit of the Filipina) is an annual performance and silent art auction by Filipina/Filipina-American

performers, writers, and artists. “With a 40,000 Filipino population in San Francisco, and more than half of whom are women, it is only appropriate to give light and praise to the different ways Pinays are living, resisting, and surviving today in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond,” states Marisa Mariano, chairperson of Babae.

This year’s celebration is themed “Still We Rise,” highlighting the Filipina’s fighting spirit to rise above adversity. With a global economic crisis impacting our communities, especially immigrant working families, and a system that continues to see women as second class citizens, Filipinas wage a battle every day to provide for their families and live with dignity. Transcending beyond their everyday struggles, Filipino women build resistance with a fervor that can be traced back to the legacy of historic women like Gabriela Silang and Tandang Sora. The evening is also in dedication to the 25th Anniversary of GABRIELA Philippines, a grassroots alliance of over 200 women’s organizations in the Philippines that has been at the forefront of fighting for women’s rights since its conception.

Diwang Pinay hosts a range of performances from talented pinays from San Francisco and the greater Bay Area such as singing, dancing, guerilla theatre, poetry and film. On display will also be an art gallery showcasing artworks of different mediums by artists such as Jessica Antonio, Heather Boyer, Catherine Lagman, Bean Rabino, Dezi Suarez, Elaine Villasper, and Jenifer Wofford.

Join us on May 3, 2009 from 4:30-7:00 pm at the Bayanihan Community Center located in the South of Market District at 1010 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103. The suggested donation will be a sliding scale of $7-10, $5 for students age 10-17 with a valid ID, and free for children under 10 years of age. For more information, visit Diwang Pinay’s official website at http://sites.google.com/site/sfdiwangpinay.

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special thanks to sinagman for posting this video!!!