THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) rejected on Monday, November 1, the military’s claim that Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, one of the group’s top leaders, was killed in an encounter with government troops in Bukidnon over the weekend.
In a statement, CPP spokesperson Marco Valbuena said Madlos was executed during an ambush while they were on their way to the hospital to seek medical treatment.
“Ka Oris was not killed in an armed encounter. He was ambushed on the road between Impasug-ong town proper and the national highway at 8 p.m. of October 29,” Valbuena said.
“He and his medical aide were riding a motorcycle on their way to seek medical treatment. This is according to his wife, Ka Maria Malaya,” he added.
Valbuena maintained that Madlos and his companion during the ambush, Eighfel “Ka Pika” Dela Peña, were unarmed and “were not in a position to give battle.”
He said they are not certain yet if they were ambushed while riding a moving motorcycle, or if they were forced to stop before being executed.
“To conceal their crime of murdering unarmed revolutionaries, the 4th ID staged aerial strikes four hours later, dropping bombs on the mountains of Barangay Dumalaguing, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon to create a false picture of an armed encounter,” said Valbuena.
He said the families of the killed communist rebels were in a position to demand an independent autopsy examination on their body “to determine the actual circumstances of their killing.”
“We support the wishes of the families to have the bodies of Ka Oris and Ka Pica be immediately released to them in order for them to conduct a proper wake and give all those who knew Ka Oris the opportunity to pay their last respects,” he added.
But Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Colonel Ramon Zagala maintained the legitimacy of the military operation on Saturday, October 30, which resulted in the death of Madlos and Dela Peña.
“Being at the top leadership of the NPA (New People’s Army), he is protected 24/7 by more or less 40 NPAs. It is unlikely he will move without these armed elements as claimed by the NPA,” he said.
“We are expecting the communist terrorist group to continue to misdirect the public on the circumstances of this huge loss in the CPP-NPA leadership. As such, we are firm and will stand by our troops on the ground on the legitimacy of this successful encounter,” he added.