Born May 15, 1914. Figure in the Communist movement of the Philippines. A physician by education.
On the eve of World War II, Lava was a member of the League for the Defense of Democracy and the Youth Congress, both of which were progressive organizations led by the Communist Party. During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines (1942–45) he took part in the work of the underground organization Free Philippines and in the formation of detachments of the people’s anti-Japanese Hukbalahap army, in which he headed the medical service. In 1944–45 he was governor of the province of Laguna, and in 1946 he was elected to parliament on the Democratic Alliance slate. In 1947 he became a member of the political bureau and, in 1950, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines. He was underground from 1952 until his arrest in 1964.