Central Committee and Military Commission, Communist Party of the Philippines
National Operations Command, New People’s Army
30 June 2015 | The entire Central Committe, Military Commission and all cadres and members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the entire National Operations Command and all Red commanders and Red fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) stand to execute their Red salute to Comrade Leoncio Pitao, the Filipino people’s beloved Commander Parago, commanding officer of the NPA 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion.
Commander Parago, 58, was killed by fascist troops last 27 June in Barangay Panyalom, Paquibato District, Davao City. Up to the last moment, he dedicated his life to the service of the toiling masses and to advancing their revolutionary struggle.
The CPP, NPA and the entire revolutionary movement recognize Commander Parago as a hero of the Filipino people. His four decades long story of struggle is now forever etched in the golden history of the Filipino revolution.
The entire people, especially the peasants and Lumad of Southern Mindanao, grieve over the death of Ka Parago. Affectionately called “Tatay” by the people of Paquibato who knew him, Ka Parago possessed unfailing love for the toiling people. His determination to serve the people’s interests and welfare gave him the courage and strength to tread the difficult road of the people’s war.
Under the leadership of Commander Parago and the assigned organs of the Party and NPA, the unity of the NPA Red fighters and the peasant masses and Lumad people of Paquibato has the strength of steel. Because of this unity, Commander Parago gained prominence in the brilliant and resounding victories of the NPA, including the arrest of AFP high official Gen. Victor Obillo in February 1999 who was detained as a prisoner-of-war.
Ka Parago’s ardent love for the people stand in stark contrast to the intense hatred for him by the ruling classes and their fascist henchmen. He was arrested in November 1999 and was detained under harsh conditions, denied of rights and imprisoned for almost two years. He was released in August 2001 only because of widespread clamor for his freedom.
Ka Parago immediately returned to the path of armed struggle. He was assigned to lead the NPA’s 1st Pulang Bagani Company which covered the Paquibato District and nearby areas in Davao City. The NPA-PBC earnestly served the interests of the peasant masses and Lumad people. Ka Parago’s wisdom, courage and gallantry served the relentless advance of the armed struggle and accumulation of strength of the NPA in Paquibato, in SMR, in the entire Mindanao and country.
In March 2009, the fascist officials of the AFP schemed the abduction, rape and murder of Rebelyn Pitao, Ka Parago’s daughter. A few months earlier (June 2008), the fascists killed Ka Parago’s brother Danilo. These aimed to weaken his revolutionary determination.
In the face of all-out attacks and acts of suppression against him by the fascist enemy, Commander Parago was sheltered by the toiling masses. In their small huts, he renewed his determination and strength to persist in struggle.
There is no letup in the fascist onslaughts of the AFP and its paramilitary groups against the peasant masses in Davao City and other areas in SMR. The aim of the AFP is to suppress the armed resistance of the peasant masses and to silence their clamor against foreign big companies that grab their land for mining and plantations.
There is no measure to the peasant masses’ hatred of the US-Aquino regime and the AFP, especially its Eastern Command and the 10th ID. They are infinitely repugnant of the brutal military operations and violations of human rights violations over the past years.
Ka Parago’s was killed at the heels of the the Paquibato Massacre last June 14 wherein fascist troops of the 69th Infantry Battalion strafed the house of the Seisa family killing three peasants and wounding a 12-year old girl.
The killing of Commander Parago further inflames the peasant masses’ hatred of the fascist AFP. The NPA and the peasant masses are united in the need to intensify their armed struggle not only to punish the fascists behind the killing of Commander Parago, but more importantly, to advance the people’s war in the entire country.
While the Filipino people grieve the death of Ka Parago, they also draw inspiration from his life of selfless service to the Filipino masses.
The Filipino people continue to suffer worsening oppression and exploitation by the US imperialists and the local ruling classes under the semicolonial and semifeudal system. As they wage revolutionary armed struggle, more Commander Paragos are bound to emerge from the ranks of the NPA Red fighters.
Red salute to Commander Parago!
Long live the New People’s Army!
Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long live the Filipino people!