Edgardo Mirasol Jopson, who was famously known as Edjop, was born in Sampaloc, Manila on September 1, 1948, to Hernan V. Jopson and Josefa A. Mirasol. He was one of two boys among twelve siblings. The family owned a supermarket where, at an early age, Edjop helped out together with his sisters.
In 1971, Edjop together with fellow student leaders visited the People’s Republic of China. He saw how the socialist revolution had transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of poor Chinese. He started to have doubts about his own moderate political views, and became convinced that the Philippines was in need of a radical transformation, if centuries of poverty and social injustice were to end.
When Marcos declared martial law in September 1972, Edjop joined the underground movement, and eventually became a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines. In Manila, he became active in organizing unions and coordinating workers’ strikes. He realized that if genuine reforms were to be won, protest marches would never be enough. He was captured in a raid, and tortured at Camp Crame. But ever resourceful, he found a way to escape. The underground movement later sent him to the countryside so he could do political work among the peasants.