NPA honors Parago with 21-gun salute

[Davao Today | Kodao Productions] A New People’s Army unit in the foothills of Mt Apo honored Leoncio “Commander Parago” Pitao with a military parade and a 21-gun salute two days after the late rebel leader was cremated in Davao City last July 10.

A platoon belonging to the NPA’s Mt. Apo Operational Command performed the rare ceremony for its “shining red star” in front of hundreds of civilian supporters and people’s militia members.

Pitao was killed by soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division in Davao City’s Paquibato District last June 28. The NPA said he was being treated for a variety of ailments when he was mowed down by gunfire along with medic Vanessa “Ka Kyle” Limpag.

The ceremony followed an unprecedented public wake, tribute and funeral march in a major Filipino city for a rebel attended by an estimated ten thousand supporters and friends, including national and local political and business leaders.

Led by Communist Party of the Philippines, NPA and National Democratic Front of the Philippines colors, the rebel troopers marched in single file into a clearing and performed rifle drills before consecutively firing their rifles.

They proceeded to present arms before singing Ang Internasyunal, the universal anthem of communist parties all over the world.

The audience joined in the singing of the anthem.

The ceremony ended with shouts of “Long live Ka Parago!”, “Long live the Filipino people!”, “Long live the New People’s Army” and “Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!”

The 21-gun salute is traditionally a cannonade for surrendering ships but has developed through the centuries into an honorifical ceremony reserved for royalty, heads of state, high government officials and heroes, especially during important events and funerals using both cannons and rifles.

There is no universal pattern in performing the gun salute and every armed force may devise their own style.

Several NPA units around the country performed an honor drill and gun salute for the late CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal who died of natural causes in 2011.

“Ka Teo,” a veteran NPA fighter who once fought and worked with Pitao, described their fallen hero as an extraordinary leader who was a brilliant military tactician and inspiring revolutionary.

“The many military tactics that we use today to defeat the enemy were devised by Kumander Parago. His brilliance is proven by the fact that our casualties are always fewer than the number of our enemies killed and wounded in battle,” he said.

Teo said that Pitao’s influence was a major factor in his decision to become a full time NPA fighter in the 1980s.

“He did not convince us in so many words. His examples were enough for us to commit our lives to the revolution,” Teo said.

Ka Karen, a local Makabayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan member, said they will never forget Pitao who they consider their hero.

“He inspired us to stand and fight for a society that is just to women, peasant and Lumad,” she said.

“Contrary to what the Armed Forces of the Philippines said, his death does not weaken our resolve to push the revolution forward. His death strengthens our determination to defeat the enemies of the people,” Karen said.

The NPA usually holds public parades during the CPP’s anniversary on December 26, but only when both the CPP and the Philippine government reciprocally declare ceasefires in observance of the Yuletide season. These parades do not include live fire salutes.

The AFP often violates these ceasefires, however, by putting up roadblocks and harassing the NPA’s civilian supporters, even media persons and local and national government officials who wish to cover or attend the rebel’s celebrations.

Last year, Philippine Army soldiers in Surigao del Sur tried to prevent Bayan Muna representative Carlos Ysagani Zarate and special envoy for the peace negotiations Hernani Braganza from attending the CPP’s 46th anniversary celebrations and peace consultations in Marihatag town. The presence of Surigao del Sur vice governor Manuel Alameda in behalf of governor Johnny Pimental also did not deter the troopers from violating their own government’s ceasefire declaration.

As a rebel guerrilla force, the NPA can only hold open celebrations, especially involving live gunfire, in areas where it enjoys strong support from the residents.

The NPA’s Mt Apo Operational Command includes the First Pulang Bagani (Red Warrior) Battalion and other company-sized formations. Pitao was the most famous commander of this famed command known for conducting the most audacious operations in the rebel army’s history. (Jola Diones-Mamangun, Earl Condeza/Davao Today and Raymund B. Villanueva. Text by R. Villanueva)

ELEGY from the peasant army, NPA, for Comrade Parago

After 37 years in struggle, you are finally laid to rest.
Comrade, teacher, friend. Read more

Red salute to Commander Parago

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. Read more

Pulang saludo kay Kumander Parago

Komite Sentral at Komisyong Militar, Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas
Pambansang Kumand sa Operasyon, Bagong Hukbong Bayan

30 Hunyo 2015 | Nakatindig ang buong Komite Sentral, Komisyong Militar at lahat ng kadre at kasapi ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas at ang buong Pambansang Kumand sa Operasyon at lahat ng Pulang kumander at Pulang mandirigma ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) upang buong-higpit na magbigay ng Pulang saludo kay Kasamang Leoncio Pitao, ang pinakamamahal ng sambayanang Pilipino na si Kumander Parago, upisyal sa kumand ng BHB 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion.. Read more


Ang National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao miduyog sa kasubo sa pamilya, tanang rebolusyonaryong pwersa ug katawhan sa Mindanao  ug sa tibuok nasud sa bangis nga kamatayon ni Kaubang Parago (Leoncio Pitao) ug Kaubang Kyle (Vanessa Limpag), usa ka kaubang medikal, sa mga kamot sa mga berdugong sundalo sa AFP niadtong Hunyo 28, 2015, didto sa Purok 9, Brgy. Pañalum, Paquibato District, Davao City.  Miduyog usab kami sa paghatag sa kinatas-ang pagpasidungog kanila sa paghalad sa kinabuhi alang sa rebolusyon ug kinatibuk-ang interes sa katawhang Pilipino.  Dugang pa, miduyog usab kami sa hugot nga pagkondena sa mga sinuholang berdugo nga mihunos sa kinabuhi ni Ka Paragao ug Ka Kyle ug batok ning kasamtangang katilingbanong sistemang semi-pyudal ug semi-kolonyal nga mipahamtang sa pangdaugdaug ug pagpahimulos sa tibuok katilingbang Pilipino. Read more


The NDFP-Mindanao joins the family, all revolutionary forces and masses in Mindanao and the whole nation in mourning for the brutal death of Comrade Parago (Leoncio Pitao) and Comrade Kyle (Vanessa Limpag), a Red medical officer, in the bloody hands of AFP elements on June 28, 2015 in Purok 9, Brgy. Pañalum, Paquibato District, Davao City.  We are also one with them in giving the highest honor to Comrades Parago and Kyle for making the ultimate sacrifice for the revolution and for the general interest of the Filipino people. Moreover, we are united with them in utterly condemning the callous mercenaries who mercilessly snuffed out the lives of Comrade Parago and Kyle, and equally condemning the present semi-feudal and semi-colonial system that perpetuates oppression and exploitation upon the Filipino society.   Read more


The entire revolutionary forces of North Eastern Mindanao Region (NEMR) salutes and bestows the highest honor to a true revolutionary and Red commander, Ka Parago or Leoncio Pitao. We are one with the masses, his family, friends and entire revolutionary forces in mourning his death as we praise his significant contribution to the advance of the national democratic revolution in Southern Mindanao Region (SMR) and in the country. We join the entire revolutionary movement in resolutely continuing and advancing the revolutionary cause that Ka Parago has devoted and gave his life for! Read more


Ang tibuok rebolusyonaryong pwersa sa North Eastern Mindanao Region (NEMR) nagsaludo ug naghatag sa pinakataas nga pasidungog sa tinuod nga rebolusyonaryo ug Pulang kumander, Ka Parago o Leoncio Pitao. Nakighiusa kami sa tanan masa, sa iyang pamilya, mga higala ug tibuok rebolusyonaryong pwersa sa kasubo sa iyang pagkamatay ug pasidunggan ang iyang mahinungdanong kontribusyon sa pag-abante sa nasudnong demokratikong rebolusyon sa Southern Mindanao Region (SMR) ug sa tibuok nasud. Nakigduyog kami sa tibuok rebolusyonaryong kalihukan sa pagpadayon ug pagpaabante sa rebolusyonaryong kawsa nga gibuhisan sa kinabuhi ni Ka Parago! Read more

Leoncio ¨Ka Parago¨ Pitao: Nagdilaab nga Pulang bitoon sa Rebolusyon


Usa ka Pasidungog sa Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee- CPP

Siya ang paboritong kontrabida sa mga kaaway.  Sanglit gihulagway sa mga kaaway nga simbolo sa kamangtas, gigukod siya sa labing mabangis  nga mga pamaagi.  Buot gyod nilang lukongon ang para kanila usa ka demonyo.  Ang pagpapas kaniya ning kalibotan gibuhat sa mga kaaway sa mga pamaaging di matupngan ang pagkawalay kasingkasing ug pagka mananap. Read more

Leoncio ¨Ka Parago¨ Pitao: Radiant Red star of the revolution

A Tribute by Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee-CPP

He was their favorite villain. Portrayed as a sinister symbol, he was pursued in ways mostly vicious. He was demonized like no other. Pictured as a menace, his destruction was sought by means always despicable. Read more