Communist Party of the Philippines: The memory of Ka Oris will live forever
The memory of Ka Oris will live forever
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Operational Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) pay the highest tribute and give the firmest Red salute to Ka Oris (Comrade Jorge Madlos), erstwhile spokesperson of the NPA. Ka Oris, together with his medical aide, Ka Pika, were murdered in cold-blood on October 29, 2021 as they were en route for his regular health checkup and to seek medical treatment. Ka Oris was 72 years old.
The entire Party, all revolutionary forces and friends of the revolutionary movement are deeply saddened by the death of Ka Oris. The Party, the New People’s Army and the entire revolutionary movement lost an important cadre and leader. But the enemy has nothing to celebrate with his murder. Long before he was killed, Ka Oris had already inspired, trained and developed thousands of successors. His martyrdom further inspires the current generation and further generations to continue the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war.
The Central Committee extends its deepest sympathies to Ka Maria Malaya, wife of Ka Oris, their children, as well as to his and Ka Pika’s family and friends. The Filipino people are deeply saddened by their deaths. The broad masses, especially the countless peasants and Lumad people whom Ka Oris personally encountered in more than five decades of revolutionary service, feel a deep sense of loss with Ka Oris’ death, but at the same time, are enraged over how he was killed by the cowardly and dishonorable fascists.
We condemn in the strongest terms the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), particularly the 4th Infantry Division, for carrying out the murder of Ka Oris and Ka Pika and the subsequent lies propagated by military officers to cover up their crime. Ka Oris and his aide were aboard a motorcycle and traversing the road from the center of Impasug-ong town in Bukidnon province going to the national highway when they were ambushed by soldiers belonging to the 403rd Infantry Brigade.
The AFP could easily have arrested them as both were unarmed and were in no position to give battle. Instead, the fascists finished them off with bullets in a shameless demonstration of their cowardice. There is absolutely no honor in murdering a defenseless enemy. The claim that Ka Oris was killed in an armed encounter with an NPA unit is a gargantuan lie propped up by a multimillion aerial bombardment in a nearby mountain staged to create the impression of an intense battle.
We are aware that the plot to kill Ka Oris was personally directed by the tyrant himself. Without a doubt, the final order to kill Ka Oris was issued by none other than Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte is obsessed with murdering the leaders of the Party and the NPA on the mistaken belief that he could end the revolution by killing its leaders. On the contrary, Ka Oris’ blood will further nourish the ground from which patriots, democrats and revolutionaries sprout and take root.
Ka Oris died a hero’s death, murdered by the fascists while fighting for the cause of national and social liberation. To his last breath, Ka Oris was a true communist cadre and fighter. For more than five decades, he devoted his life wholly and unwaveringly to the cause of all the oppressed and exploited people to free them from the yoke of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
As a young student activist in the early 1970s, he was driven by the cause of democracy and social action, working to uplift the people from poverty and hunger. He helped organize his fellow students in the Central Mindanao University Musuan Campus in Maramag, Bukidnon. He was on his fifth year as a student of agricultural engineering when martial law was declared in 1972. He dropped out of college and worked with such organizations as Chi Rho and the Federation of Free Farmers. He was arrested in 1974 and detained until 1976. Fascsist repression under martial law crystallized his decision to join the armed revolution. Upon his release, he went directly to the countryside.
He joined the New People’s Army as a young man and belonged to one of the first squads of Red fighters who broke ground in Mindanao, particularly in Northern Mindanao. He played an important role in the growth of the NPA through the 1970s and 1980s. From a few squads, the NPA grew to several companies as they carried out mass work, military work and waging antifeudal struggles. The NPA fought for the interests of the peasant masses and Lumad people (ethnic minorities) and defended them against the armed agents of the state and big capitalist logging and mining companies and plantations which grabbed farms and ancestral land.
Ka Oris put into practice the Party’s line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war and saw for himself its correctness. The Party and NPA took deep and wide roots in the countryside. Myriad forms of revolutionary mass organizations sprouted and served as foundation for establishing organs of political power which governed and administered the economic, political, educational, cultural and military affairs at the village level and up. Despite the threats of fascist repression, thousands upon thousands joined the Party to help lead the people’s war.
Ka Oris was captured in 1987 after the collapse of peace talks with the Corazon Aquino government. He was imprisoned for five years. During this time, the NPA in Mindanao saw the height of errors of premature regularization and insurrectionism during which Red fighters of the NPA were overly concentrated in battalions disproportionate to its horizontal spread and to the detriment of sustaining and expanding the mass base. Ultimately, mass support contracted and proved insufficient for sustaining the military victories during the latter part of the 1980s until 1990.
Ka Oris served as one of the strongest pillars of the Second Great Rectification Movement which the Central Committee declared in 1992 to reaffirm the Party’s basic Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideological principles and its strategic line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. He stood firm against the revisionists and “Left” opportunists among whom were some former cadres of the Mindanao Commission who eventually turned traitors to the revolutionary cause. He would always say that it was not the enemy which almost decimated the NPA in Mindanao in the 1980s and early 1990s, but the NPA’s own weaknesses and bad decisions.
Over the course of the past two decades, Ka Oris and other comrades led the Party, NPA and revolutionary forces in Northeast Mindanao region. The people’s war would rage across the five regions in Mindanao island as the NPA carried out the line of intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base.
In 2015, he was appointed to serve as one of the leading commanders of the National Operational Command of the NPA in recognition of the advanced experience of waging people’s war in the island. In 2016, Ka Oris played an important role in bringing together around one hundred cadres from all regional Party committees across the Philippines to convene the historic 2nd Congress of the CPP. During the congress, Ka Oris was elected as a member of the Central Committee, the Political Bureau and the Executive Committee, and was tasked to be among the leading cadres in the Military Commission and the Mindanao Commission. He was also assigned as a consultant of the NDFP in peace negotiations.
As a Party leader, Ka Oris studied and firmly applied Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. He would spend time reading and rereading classic military writings especially those of such great communist leaders as Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap. He meticulously studied the history and successful experiences of waging people’s war in semicolonial and semifeudal countries. He was always inspired by the epic struggles of the oppressed and exploited classes throughout history.
He devoted time and effort to training the young cadres and Red fighters in the art and science of guerrilla warfare. He wrote manuals and training courses for officers and men of the NPA enriched by the past and new experiences in waging guerrilla warfare. He made it a point to gather Party cadres in big and small meetings, consultations and conferences where he intently listened, discussed and debated with comrades. He trekked long distances from one guerrilla front to another, to observe first hand the work of Party committees and NPA units. Over the past years, he took risks to go around the archipelago to inspire and impart his knowledge of waging people’s war. He always said that to be able to gather cadres and assess their revolutionary work amid intense military operations is a feat in itself.
Ka Oris was a staunch defender of the environment. One of the first demonstrations he organized as an activist was a protest action against a logging company. For several decades, he led units of the NPA who fought against big bourgeois comprador companies which ravaged the environment. He took it a point to issue a statement every year during Earth Day especially amid the worsening environmental crisis brought about by capitalist anarchy in production and its destructive effect and impact on global ecology. He defended the NPA’s actions to render useless the machines and tools with which logging and mining companies exploit and destroy the land and the people.
Ka Oris had always played a publicly prominent role. He was assigned as one of the representatives of the National Democratic Front (NDF)-Mindanao in peace negotiations with the Corazon Aquino government in 1986-1987. He served as spokesperson of the NDFP-Mindanao and later of the New People’s Army. He took the name “Oris” from his uncle and foster father, Mauricio Ravelo, who raised him since he was 3 years old. He recalled that his first interview as Ka Oris was by a Bombo Radyo reporter in 1978.
Having served as spokesperson, Ka Oris had numerous encounters with journalists. He made a lot of friends among reporters and writers not only because he gave interviews whenever possible, but more so because he was always cordial to journalists, even to those who made known their animosity to the revolutionary cause. He ardently supported the struggle for press freedom. Through his efforts, not a few journalists saw how different the revolutionary movement was from the image of “terrorists” persistently being painted by the real terrorists—the fascist reactionaries. He engaged journalists in discussions with the aim of reaching out to the public and clarifying the views of the revolutionary movement. Reporters who had the opportunity to join the press conferences organized by Ka Oris would attest to both his charisma and humility.
Indeed, despite his public and organizational stature, Ka Oris remained a humble revolutionary who shunned the easy life and chose the difficult and arduous life of a Party cadre and guerrilla fighter. He was able to manage his condition of having a permanently damaged urinary bladder (which resulted from an untreated infection in prison) by maintaining a meticulously clean and spartan lifestyle. He laughed at repeated claims of the military that he was sick and ailing. He remained generally healthy and able to march for days on end, even during the past few months of guerrilla maneuvers in the face of intense enemy operations. Young Red fighters and revolutionaries are always inspired by Ka Oris, who despite his medical condition and advanced age, continued to take the difficult road of people’s war.
Ka Oris was a quintessential family man, deeply devoted to his wife, Ka Maria Malaya, and their two children. As with many revolutionaries, they endured long stretches of separation. He had the highest respect for Ka Maria, who is a leading Party cadre herself.
He treated comrades with warm affection, especially the younger ones. He had boundless love and concern for comrades and the masses. He made it a point to ensure that everyone is well taken care of. He had a wry sense of humor making him easy to get along with. Ka Oris was a comrade beloved by Red fighters, by the peasant masses, Lumads, and workers, as well as by various sectors in the cities. To many, he was a loving fatherly figure who was concerned with the comrades’ big and small concerns.
The love of the broad masses of workers and peasants for Ka Oris is matched only by the hatred of big landlords, the big bourgeois compradors, the mining companies, plantations, the bureaucrat capitalists, tyrants and dictators, and the fascist terrorists who perpetuate the oppressive and exploitative system. They have used all their wealth and resources to demonize and blacken the image of Ka Oris. The cowardly and dishonorable fascists are beyond themselves in celebrating their murder of Ka Oris. They are only fooling themselves in thinking that killing Ka Oris will put an end to the revolution. As Ka Oris himself said, the revolution will continue because it is just.
By taking away his life, the fascists succeeded only in immortalizing Ka Oris. He now lives forever in the hearts and minds of the Filipino people as one of their heroes and icons. His indomitable spirit of revolutionary resistance continues to imbue the new generation of Party cadres and young Red fighters. It will serve to inspire future generations who will carry on the fight for genuine national freedom and social liberation, land for the landless and national industrialization, and for the emancipation of people from all forms of oppression and exploitation.
Long live the memory of Ka Oris!
Bear high the torch of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!
Advance the cause of the people’s democratic revolution!
Carry forward the people’s war until complete victory!
Long live the New People’s Army!
Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long live the Filipino people!