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Even after his death, the spirit of Ka Toto lives and shimmers among Filipino people

By Harsh Thakor 
Comrade Dionisio Micabalo, was better known by the masses as Ka Toto, Ka Jeff or Ka Delong. All Marxists and revolutionary democrats bow down to pay its highest tribute to Ka Toto, for his relentless selfless service to the Filipino people and unflinching devotion in his entire life to advancing the national-democratic revolution.
Ka Toto died on July 26, 2023, being engaged in a gruelling a battle between the New People’s Army and the 58th IB of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at the border of Barangay Litit and Barangay Libertad, in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental province.
Revolutionary democrats must all express gravest sympathies to Ka Toto’s wife, children, grandchildren, as well as to comrades, and the peasant masses and Lumad peoples with whom he rendered service to the people and the revolutionary movement. Ka Toto planted seeds for new lotuses to bloom or to resurrect flame of revolution.
Ka Toto was born on December 26, 1962, from a small landlord family. He attended college at Liceo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro City where he took a course on BS Accounting. At the age of 18, Ka Toto was enraged with the oppression and suffering inflicted on the Filipino people caused by imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism which are the root causes of the their problems, and their suffering under the US-Marcos dictatorship. He integrated with revolutionary forces in 1981 at his college. Even under martial law, he took the cudgels in anti-fascist, anti-imperialist and antifeudal mass struggles.
In 1982, Ka Toto joined the New People’s Army and participated in constructing building new guerrilla fronts and units. In 1985, he was known as Ka Yani when he was deployed to Front 6 in Bukidnon. That same year, he was transferred to Front 4-A in Misamis Oriental where he was known as Ka Abbu and Ka Cardo.
Ka Toto was assigned to the Lumad areas in 1988. Brimming with revolutionary spirit, he quickly fast integrated with the indigenous masses. He showed respect to their traditional customs, structures and practices, and patiently elevated their political consciousness and democratic strength. Ka Toto played an immense role in elevating their revolutionary movement to a new height
Having fully dedicated their lives to advancing the people’s war, Ka Toto and his fellow revolutionary wife built a strong revolutionary family. They instilled in their children fully the aspirations of the Filipino people for genuine liberation .In the following years; Ka Toto helped expand Party organizations from section level committees, to district committees and fronts.
Ka Toto ranked amongst the revolutionary forces who upheld the Second Great Rectification Movement which the Party initiated in 1992 to rectify errors and deviations from the basic principles. He also played a role in those weaknesses, but in time rectified errors, upheld the national-democratic line by rebuking the revisionists who betrayed the Party, the revolutionary movement and the people.
In 2003, Ka Toto was arrested with his wife and imprisoned for six months. He was released by posting bail. In 2009, Ka Toto assumed the role of secretary of the North Central Mindanao Region Party Committee. He fortified the Party’s collective leadership in the region. Applying the basic principles of protracted people’s war, they invoked the sprouting of guerrilla warfare throughout the region, especially in 2012-2017 during which they reached superlative heights. Without hesitation, Ka Toto and other leading cadres extended support to other regions needing help in terms of personnel and resources.
Ka Toto was among the delegates to the 2nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Philippines in 2016. There he was elected a member of the Party Central Committee. He was also appointed as a leading member of the Mindanao Commission in 2017. In 2023, the Central Committee appointed Ka Toto as a member of the Political Bureau.
Prior to his death, Ka Toto actively took initiative in NCMR to regain strength, after having suffered setbacks due to internal weaknesses and shortcomings. In the region’s evaluation,, Ka Toto always engaged in constructive self-criticism for weaknesses and illustrated his relentless will to correct them. Together with all revolutionary forces in the NCMR, Ka Toto strive on the path of resurrection towards climbing new heights in revolutionary struggles.
At the ripe age of 61, Ka Toto marched astride the fraternity of the youth or younger Red fighters in crossing mountains and rivers, towards hills and plains, to penetrate the vast masses and ignite revolutionary spirit and strengthen their organized ranks.
Ka Toto manifested or symbolised determination, collective leadership, and dedicated study and application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to concrete conditions and practice, criticism and self-criticism, and firm adherence to the path of protracted people’s war.
Despite his stupendous achievements and victories, Ka Toto remained unassuming and selfless. He was one of the fulcrums of the revolutionary movement in the NCMR, in Mindanao and the whole country, but was, always humble, gentle and smiling, always adhering to listen to advice, and in turn offer give his own advice.
The Filipino people, especially the peasant masses and indigenous people in Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Agusan del Norte, Lanao del Norte to Maguindanao, will forever cherish and resurrect Dionisio Micabalo, and his contributions to advancing the people’s democratic revolution in the Philippines.
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Harsh Thakor is freelance journalist.Thanks information from Red Spark and Philippine revolution blogs

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