By JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel
I join the people and revolutionary force in expressing most heartfelt condolences to the families and comrades of the leading cadres of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Red fighters of the New People’s Army and civilian victims whose valiant lives were snuffed out by the fascist agents of the US-Aquino regime on 4 September in Lacub, Abra.
The highest honors are deservedly accorded to Arnold ‘Ka Mando’ Jaramillo, Recca Noelle ‘Ka Tet’ Monte, Brandon ‘Ka Sly’ Madranga, Robert ‘Ka Dawyan’ Beyao, Ricardo ‘Ka Tubong’ Reyes, Pedring ‘Ka Jess’ Banggao, and Robert ‘Ka Limbo’ Perez, as well as to the two civilians Engr. Fidela Salvador and Noel Viste, who have all put their lives on the line and made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the people.
I join the family, comrades and friends of the Lacub Martyrs in condemning the savagery of the 41st Infantry Battalion soldiers under the command of 2Lt. Joe Mari S. Landicho and Capt. Deo Martinez and in demanding their prosecution and punishment as murderers and war criminals.
Based on initial investigation, the NPA fighters had been rendered hors de combat by the AFP troops. Instead of treating their wounds and holding them as prisoners of war, the Red fighters were brutally tortured and slaughtered, and their lifeless bodies mutilated. Comrade Mando’s body, in particular, was riddled with bullets, with at least one gunshot wound inflicted at point blank range.
The fascist troops also arbitrarily arrested Engr. Salvador and accused her of being an NPA guerrilla, before she was tortured and summarily executed. Lacub resident Noel Viste was one of the numerous civilians who were forced by the military to act as their guides and human shields. He was also tortured and executed by the AFP troops. We join calls for justice against these brutalities.
The Lacub Martyrs are all models of being proletarian revolutionaries who took up the challenge of self-less sacrifice and dedicated struggle in the service of the exploited and oppressed classes. They came from different class backgrounds, and they underwent the process of remoulding themselves in order to contribute to the revolutionary struggle for national liberation and genuine democracy. In the various functions that they undertook, they showed unrelenting dedication to fulfilling their tasks however great the difficulties and sacrifices.
Their supreme sacrifice will inspire countless people, especially the youth, to follow their footsteps in the service of the oppressed and exploited. Let us honor the memory of the Lacub Martyrs by carrying on with greater resoluteness and militancy the revolutionary struggle for national democracy and socialism.