By Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
November 7, 2021
Soon after the murder of Comrade Jorge (Ka Oris) Madlos and his medical aide Eighfel dela Peña (Ka Pika) on October 29, 2021 by the reactionary armed forces of the Duterte terrorist regime, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Operational Command of the New People’s Army paid the highest tribute to Ka Oris on November 2 and gave a comprehensive review of his long and fruitful service to the Filipino people as a revolutionary patriot and as a communist cadre and NPA commander.
Once more we manifest our highest respects to Ka Oris in accordance with the declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines that today, the anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, is the International Day of Remembrance for his outstanding initiatives, selfless sacrifices and great achievements as an excellent communist cadre and commander and fighter in five decades of revolutionary armed struggle. He is now in the pantheon of national heroes and martyrs of the Philippine revolution.
He contributed greatly to the development of the people’s democratic revolution not only in Mindanao but in the entire Philippines and stood out as a Filipino Bolshevik in the continuing struggle for national liberation, democracy and socialism on a global scale. He was ever optimistic that the international proletariat and oppressed peoples will gain strength and shine light on the path for a new global resurgence of anti-imperialist, democratic and socialist struggles. He was proud of the fact that the Philippine revolution is contributory to the advance of these mass struggles.
The counterrevolutionaries gloat over the death of Ka Oris after mutilating and cremating his body to insult his beloved family, friends and the people. But these fascist monsters do not realize that long before his martyrdom he had inspired and developed a great number of revolutionary successors and that his martyrdom continues to inspire innumerable revolutionaries of this generation and further generations to continue the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war.
We convey our condolences and share the grief of Ka Maria Malaya, widow of Ka Oris and their children, as well as Ka Pika’s family and friends. We bear the weight of all mountain ranges in the Philippines in our grief. But the same weight prods us to fight for justice for Ka Oris and Ka Pika through intensified revolutionary struggle. We become more determined than ever to fight for the national and social liberation of the Filipino people against the semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling system and the current tyrannical, terrorist, mass murdering and plundering regime of Duterte.
Ka Oris started on the road of the Philippine revolution as a student activist in the early 1970s. He was motivated by the desire for full national independence, democracy, social justice and all-round development of the Philippines. Thus, he organized his fellow students on the Musuan campus of the Central Mindanao University in Maramag Bukidnon. He belonged to the Chi Rho and the Left wing of the Federation of Free Farmers when Marcos declared nationwide martial law in 1972. He was arrested in 1974 and imprisoned until 1976. His experience of repression convinced him to join the NPA.
He joined one of the first squads of the New People’s Army that started the people’s war in Mindanao, particularly in Northern Mindanao. And he played a major role in the growth of the NPA in the 1970s and 1980s. The NPA grew to several companies as they carried out mass work, genuine land reform and armed struggle in guerrilla bases and zones constituting guerrilla fronts. The peasant masses and Lumad (ethnic minority) people welcomed the NPA and united to fight the armed minions of the reactionary state and big capitalist logging and mining companies and plantations which grabbed farms and ancestral land and plundered the environment.
Ka Oris carried out the Party’s general line and program of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. The Party, the NPA, the mass organizations and local organs of political power struck deep roots in the countryside. With the daily support of the mass organizations, the organs of political power administered the economic, political, educational, cultural and military affairs at the village level and upwards. The campaigns of military suppression unleashed by the Marcos fascist regime failed to stop the armed revolution.
Ka Oris became one of the representatives of the National Democratic Front (NDF)-Mindanao in ceasefire talks with the Corazon Aquino government in 1986-1987. He was arrested after the collapse of the ceasefire agreement in early1987 due to the peasant massacre at Mendiola. While in prison until 1992, he suffered a urinary bladder infection. He was deprived of medical attention and his infection resulted in permanent damage, which he suffered from and needed to manage for the rest of his life under the difficult conditions of guerrilla warfare.
Ka Oris followed for a while but eventually disengaged from the erroneous line of premature regularization and urban insurrectionism from the mid-1980s onwards, a period when Red fighters of the NPA were overly concentrated in companies and battalions at the expense of sustaining and expanding the mass base. Ultimately, Ka Oris noticed the contraction of the mass base and the growing failure to sustain the military victories during the latter part of the 1980s until the 1990s. Thus, he concluded that it was not the enemy who almost decimated the NPA in Mindanao but the policy of verticalization and self-constriction that led to serious setbacks and the panic of Kampanyang Ahos.
Together with Comrade Antonio Cabanatan and other excellent proletarian revolutionaries, Ka Oris became a champion 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 and became a key figure against the revisionist subjectivists and “Left” opportunists among whom were former cadres in the Mindanao Commission who eventually turned renegades against the revolutionary cause.
Ka Oris and other comrades successfully led the Party, NPA and revolutionary forces in Northeast Mindanao region, recovered the areas lost in the period of “Left” opportunist error and prevailed over the campaigns of military suppression unleashed by the Ramos and Estrada regimes in the 1990s and the Arroyo, Aquino and Duterte regimes in the last two decades. The people’s war expanded and intensified 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, Ka Oris became one of the leading commanders of the NPA National Operational Command. He was recognized for his successful leadership in waging people’s war in Mindanao. Together with Comrade Julius Giron and other cadres, he played a key role in bringing together around one hundred cadres from all regional Party committees across the Philippines to hold the historic 2nd Congress of the CPP. During the congress, he was elected as 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 became responsible for the deployment of about a thousand battle-tested Party cadres and Red commanders from Mindanao to various key guerrilla fronts in Luzon and the Visayas. This is a clear demonstration of the outstanding character of Ka Oris as a patriotic leader of the entire Filipino nation and as a communist cadre who follows the principle that the advanced guerrilla fronts must support the less advanced. He was ever conscious of the fact that cadres had come from Luzon and the Visayas to assist in the development of the people’s war in Mindanao since the 1970s and he was ever willing to do what was needed to advance the over-all development of the revolution.
According to the CPP Central Committee, Ka Oris avidly read and studied Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and applied this theory to revolutionary practice. He read and reread classic military writings especially those of such great communist leaders as Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap. He studied closely the history and successful experiences of waging people’s war in semicolonial and semifeudal countries. He was inspired by the epic struggles of the oppressed and exploited classes throughout history in various countries of the world.
The CPP Central Committee commends Ka Oris for training and guiding so many young Party cadres and Red fighters in the art of guerrilla warfare. He wrote manuals and training courses for the Red commanders and fighters of the NPA and enriched them by drawing positive and negative lessons from 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, learned new experiences and discussed them with comrades..
Despite his health condition, 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, unknown to the enemy, 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.
The CPP Central Committee takes special note of the fact that 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 five decades, he led units of the NPA who fought against big bourgeois comprador companies which ravaged the environment. He led the enforcement of the ban on logging for export and he was fiercely opposed to the proliferation of open pit mines all over the country.
In the struggle to protect the environment, the NPA became known in Mindanao as the green guerrillas, as depicted by the film of the New Zealander Rod Prosser. Every year during Earth Day, Ka Oris issued a statement on the worsening environmental crisis brought about by monopoly capitalism. He defended the NPA’s actions against the logging and mining companies and monocrop plantations that ravage the land and lives of the people.
In evaluating his life and deeds, the CPP Central Committee has summed up not only his major contributions to the growth and advance of the revolutionary movement but also to the endearing personal characteristics of Ka Oris. As spokesperson of the NDFP-Mindanao and later of the New People’s Army, Ka Oris made a lot of friends among reporters and writers because he was always mild-mannered, reasonable, cordial and courteous to them, even to those who made known their animosity to the revolutionary cause.
The CPP Central Committee points out that, 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 who red-tag people for abduction, torture and murder. He engaged journalists in calm and serious 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.
Despite his high public and organizational standing, Ka Oris was a humble revolutionary who did not seek the easy life. He chose the difficult and arduous life of a Party cadre and guerrilla fighter. He was undeterred by his repeated imprisonment, chronic illness and advanced age. To the end of his life, he took the difficult road of people’s war. He served as inspiration for the young Red fighters and revolutionaries. In his private life, he was deeply devoted to his wife, Ka Maria Malaya, and their two children as they endured long periods of separation and the constancy of the risks to life, limb and liberty. He had the highest respect for Ka Maria, who is herself is a brilliant Party cadre.
The CPP Central Committee attests to the fact that Ka Oris always treated comrades with warm affection, especially the younger ones. His love and concern for comrades and the masses was boundless. He made it a point to ensure that everyone was well taken care of. He had a dry sense of humor, making him easy to get along. Ka Oris was a comrade beloved by Red fighters, 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 for him of the big landlords, the big bourgeois compradors, the mining companies, plantations, the bureaucrat capitalists, the tyrants and dictators like Marcos and Duterte, and all the fascist terrorists who perpetuate the oppressive and exploitative system. They have used 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 and yet express fear of forthcoming offensives of the NPA and the masses.
They are only fooling themselves in thinking that the murder of Ka Oris will put an end to the revolution. As Ka Oris himself said, the revolution will continue because it is just. So long as the oppression and exploitative system persists, the Filipino people will continue to wage the people’s democratic revolution under the leadership of the proletariat and attain the stage of the socialist revolution. The so many revolutionary successors that Ka Oris himself trained and developed and the innumerable toiling masses inspired by his martyrdom will make sure to continue the revolutionary struggle of Ka Oris until total victory is achieved.
Long live the memory of Ka Oris!
Uphold the torch of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!
Advance the people’s democratic revolution until complete victory!
Long live the Filipino people!