IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon – Justice has been served after the death of Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, the commander and spokesperson of the National Operations Command (NOC) of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the hinterlands of Sitio Gabunan, Impasugong, Bukidnon on Oct. 30.
For decades, the 74-year-old Madlos led terroristic activities, especially in Mindanao, and was recorded as the most wanted NPA commander in the country.
He faced multiple criminal cases such as robbery with double homicide, damage to properties, murder, and frustrated murder that involved countless innocent civilians, including indigenous peoples (IP) members, Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (CAA) members, and soldiers.
“Sa pagpanguna ni Ka Oris sa una, ang mga lumad nailad nga mokuyog kanila, duna pay namatay apil nga tribal leaders nga matud pa dunay kalapasan kanila ug naa usab mga equipment nga ilang gipang sunog. Isip IPMR sa syudad sa Malaybalay nagatuo ako nga nakab-ot na namo ang hustisya sa iyang kamatayon (Headed by Ka Oris before, the IPs were deceived to join them, there were tribal leaders killed because of alleged violations against them, and there were many equipment burned. I believe that we have already received justice after his death),” Datu Renato Sumbongan, the IP Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Malaybalay City, said in a news release of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) on Sunday.
Lt. Col. Edgardo Talaroc Jr,, 8IB commander, also said in the vernacular that IP members, soldiers, and the CAA have long been waiting for justice.
“Now, they already achieved it,” he said as he called on the remaining communist terrorist groups to return to the fold of the law.
“We will be relentless in our operation in order for us to attain long-lasting peace and development. It will be better for you to benefit from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program for your new life with your family,” Talaroc stated, referring to the program that grants financial assistance to former rebels.
Madlos, also a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Central Committee and spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF)–Mindanao, was killed with rebel medic and communications officer Eighfel Dela Peña (alias Pika/Maui) after an encounter with the combined troops of the 8IB, 1st Special Forces Battalion, and 88th IB under the command of the 403rd Infantry Brigade.
The communist leader tested positive for Covid-19 two days after his death and was cremated before he was turned over to Impasugong officials.
Troops also recovered one M14 rifle, one KG9 rifle, and ammunition of different caliber, other war materiel, and assorted personal belongings.
Peace advocate Joy “Ka Amihan” Saguino, a former rebel leader, condoled with the family of Madlos but said the fight for social justice that insurgents claim is nothing but a fragment of propaganda.
“I have also been in the same situation where my comrades fell in the battlegrounds, believing that violence is the only solution to the society’s turmoil. I have also witnessed the cruelty of the group I once served towards people who are not receptive to the communist agenda and those labelled as “traitors and enemies” of the revolution,” she said in a statement that day after Madlos’ death.
“Memories of violence are still vivid every time I reflect on what I had gone through for 11 years,” she added.
Government forces are also hunting Madlos’ wife, Myrna Sulatre (alis Maria Malaya, Iyay, and Emang), the secretary and spokesperson of the NPA’s Northeastern Mindanao Regional Command.
She has likewise been charged with multiple murder raps.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)