William J. Pomeroy
(1916-2009)

amerikan communist who served in the amerikan army in the pacific during WWII and was with the amerikan forces which re-occupied the Philippines. Pomeroy was a writer for the army historical unit during the war and had contact with the Huks (communist resistance fighters), delivering printing materials to them, and meeting his future wife Celia, a Huk guerrilla.  Throughout the war, even before the landing of the amerikans, the Huks were attacked by small "guerrilla" groups working under the authority of the amerikans, and after the amerikan invasion the repression against the Huks was intensified.  Pomeroy saw this colonial repression of a (fellow communist) group which was fighting a common enemy and was disgusted with it, and after the war when he was discharged, he decided to stay in the Philippines, where he taught for several years while involved clandestinely with Filipino communists and participating in underground work for the Hukbalahap with his Filipina wife Celia Mariano whom he married in 1948. In 1950 he and Celia joined the Hukbalahap in the forests, were they stayed two years until their capture by government forces in 1952. Released from prison in 1962 the couple spent the rest of their lives in England. Politically he was very much a product of his early years in the CP (he joined it in the 1930's), the years of Stalin's greatest power and influence, but even so he was an intelligent, principled progressive.



The Forest (1963): 220 pages, about the post-WWII armed struggle of the communist Filipino resistance group Hukbalahap (aka Huk) against the puppet Filipino governments, made up of many people who were colonial officials during the period of amerikan colonial occupation and collaborators with the fascist japanese occupiers. The Hukbalahap was originally created on 29 March 1942, shortly after the japanese occupation of the Philippines and the start of the mass repression that the japanese carried out routinely in it's occupied territories. It was created as an armed resistance organization to the japanese fascists, and was composed of communists, socialists, and trade unionists, and occupation wise made up mainly of peasants, with a smaller percentage of workers. In 1946 the amerikans granted "independence" to the Philippines (which was "given" to the regime of Manuel Roxas, a notorious collaborator under the japanese who was rehabilitated by the amerikans to carry out their orders). Under the initial amerikan occupation and the regime of Roxas, former Huks (who had stopped armed struggle for a time after the war hoping to be able to restart their pre-war legal political organizations) were murdered outright by the amerikans and the Filipino constabulary, police, and military. Often when former Huks accepted giving up their arms and registering with the authorities they would be imprisoned or killed outright, and several leading figures were assassinated. Thus the Huks decided to restart their armed struggle, this time against the puppet Filipino government. Pomeroy worked for several years in the Huk underground in Manila while teaching at a university, and moved into the forest in 1950 to take an active part in the Huk struggle. This book is concerned with Pomeroy and his wife's work with the Huk in the forests of Luzon, and ends with their capture and imprisonment by the Filipino government in 1952 towards the very end of the unfortunately unsuccessful Huk uprising.

Born of the People, memoir of Luis Taruc (1949): 282 pages, Luis Taruc (1913-2005) was a communist leader involved in the socialist movement in the Philippines from before WWII, who continued his activity during the war with the communist Hukbalahap resistance group. He was still a leader in the Communist Party when it decided to restart the armed struggle, and he continued with the Huks until 1954 when he sold out, betrayed his comrades and surrendered to the government. Yet this book was not written by Taruc, but by Pomeroy, who had planned to write a book based on the history of the Hukbalahap, and this eventually took the form of a ghost-written autobiography which documented the history of the communist movement in the Philippines up till that point. Its best read in this fashion: as a history and not an autobiography.