Southern Luzon Command (SolCom) chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., Friday sought for an explanation on how a Gabriela member, whom the New People’s Army and their allies have defended for allegedly being red-tagged by the government, ended up dead following an encounter with Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) units in Brooke’s Point, Palawan on September 3.
Parlade was referring to Ren Manalo, who is also known by aliases “RJ,” “Ka Amir, ” “Lemon,” a Gabriela official in Mindoro and member of activist fisher’s group Pamalakaya, who was among the five rebels killed during the Thursday encounter with members of the PMC’s Force Reconnaissance Group.
“In the encounter at Brooke’s Point, Rona Jane “Ren” Manalo, was found dead. Ren Manalo was a member of PAMALAKAYA and infiltrated legal orgs in Mindoro such as SAMAKASAMIN or “Samahan ng mga Kababaihan sa Mindoro” as the Provincial Coordinator; HAGGIBAT and BAYAN Mindoro,” he said.
Parlade asked Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay to explain why Manalo, an activist, was doing embedded work with the NPA’s Bienvinedo Vallever Command (BVC) in Palawan.
“So, Cristina Palabay, explain why an activist like Ren, alias ‘Lemon’/’Pandan’, was there in a violent incident in Palawan if she is not a terrorist like alias ‘Eboy’ and the rest of the NPAs killed? You have been complaining of being red-tagged, so aren’t you?” he added.
Aside from Manalo, also killed during the September 3 encounter with PMC units were three ranking New People’s Army (NPA) leaders identified as Bonifacio “Salvador Luminoso” Magramo, the secretary of the SRMA (Unite) 4E of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC), Andrea “Ka Naya” Rosal, daughter of late NPA spokesperson “Ka Roger” Rosal and deputy secretary of the group, Noel “Ka Celso” Siasico.
Magramo, also known as “Eboy”, is from Elvita, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, while Siasico who is known as “Lines”, is a resident of Barangay Limlim, Rizal, also in Occidental Mindoro.
“If the STRPC’s ROC (Regional Organizing Committee) and MRGU (Main Regional Guerilla Unit) at the island of Mindoro are planning to avoid the heat by escaping to Palawan, there is also no one to receive them with the death of the top leaders of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) there. However, there is an option left for Jose Maria Sison’s stooges. Give up their armed struggle and join us in pursuing peace, justice, and development in the countryside. Not the other way around, Joma,” Parlade said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Aside from the debacle in Brooke’s Point, Palawan which was greatly aided by close coordination between local government unit officials and the community, he said CPP-NPA has suffered another serious setback when six regular members of their ” PLTN SERNA of KLG MAV, SRMA 4D” and 48 “Milisyang Bayan” (MB)/ “Sangay ng Partido sa Localidad” (SPL) voluntarily surrendered in Occidental Mindoro last week.
“A month ago, 11 Indigenous Peoples NPAs also returned to the folds of law after the killing of Lorrelaine Saligumba alias ‘Fara’. Two members of SOG (Special Operations Group) in Mindoro and six MRGU members in Laguna-Quezon also have returned to the folds of the law,” he said.
The secretary of SRMA 4C Mario Caraig alias “Jethro” was killed including the platoon leader of MRGU Dioscoro Cello alias “Thermo” and two others.
“Also last year the Secretary of SRMA4A, Ermin Bellen alias ‘Pat Romano’/’Malazarte’ was killed,” he said in recounting CPP-NPA reverses in the field.
With these results, he added, plans of the communist terrorists to reestablish bases in Mindoro have proven a disastrous failure.
“Their plan to complement the Regional ROC and their MRGU in Mindoro to regain and re-establish base there has failed again with the killing of personalities and leaders of Sub-Region Military Area 4E,” Parlade said.
Meanwhile, the Anakbayan of UP Diliman is calling for justice for Manalo.
Taking to social media, Anakbayan said that Manalo served her country, in the process leaving her comfortable life to fight for human rights.
“Pinakamataas na pagpupugay para kay Rona Jane “Rjei” Manalo, isang huwarang anak ng bayan at martir ng sambayanang Pilipino. Nagpasiya siyang iwan ang kumportableng buhay sa kalunsuran upang pagsilbihan ang sambayanan sa kanayunan at tinangan ang pinakamataas na uri ng pakikibaka. Napaslang siya ng pasistang 3rd Marine Brigade sa isang armadong engkuwentro sa Brgy. Mainit, Brooke’s Point, Palawan,” Anakbayan said.