Filipino leftist writer and poet. Born in Manila, he began writing as a journalist in the years before WWII. During the fascist Japanese occupation of the Philippines he was an active member of the resistance. After the war he continued to move to the left and in 1947 became president of the country's largest and most radical trade union, the Congress of Labor Organizations.
He was imprisoned from 1951 to 1956 by the corrupt, puppet government due to his closeness to the communist and labor movements. Moved from prison to prison during these years, he endured some of the worst conditions possible. Upon his release he was a stronger, more resolute opponent of capitalism and imperialism, openly claiming that the experience strengthened his determination to fight for a just society. He continued his work as a journalist for progressive newspapers and remained active on the left.