The photo of Jorge Madlos in Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro

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By Arnold Van Vugt

The Living Spirit

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


THE picture of Jorge ‘Ka Oris’ Madlos on the front page of Sun Star published on Dec. 28, 2013, I believe, is an insult to the readers of Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro.

At least that is how I felt when I saw the picture, moreover when I read the interview he gave to reporters during the CPP’s 45th founding anniversary on December 26. I find it outrageous when he said that they will deploy more NPA fighters in their punitive actions against the government forces in 2014. His plan is to launch a much wider and bigger offensive with more armed fighters next year. Madlos is bragging: “This year the revolutionary forces launched more than 400 offensives, and next year we will launch more than 500 tactical offensives. If the recent assaults were initiated by platoons and squads of the NPA, Madlos said, next year there will be battalion formations that will launch military operations all over Mindanao.”

It is outrageous to hear Madlos openly making these claims in a newspaper where I am a regular columnist. That is why I am writing this column in the hope that Jorge Madlos will read it.

I agree with my friend Captain Christian Uy, 4th Infantry Division (4ID) spokesman who says in the same issue of Sun*Star CDO that the division was dismayed ‘over the actions of the rebels’ amid the temporary truce while the whole world is celebrating Christmas and New Year.

If I were Captain Uy I would give Madlos an ultimatum to surrender his arms and negotiate about his demands and make peace. If not I would start evacuating the people from the areas that the NPA claims to be under their control, so that they can launch an outright war against the rebels and drive them out by force from their footholds.

If Madlos reads this column he will remember that I used to be his close friend and ally during the martial law years and even after Edsa when I was confronted with the horrible Antongalon massacre in which two of our parish workers in our parish of San Francisco were brutally killed by the NPA together with 46 other activists. This happened under command responsibility of Jorge Madlos. When he invited me to come up to the mountains in Surigao and he briefed me on what had happened in Antongalon, he told me that they were infiltrated up to the highest ranks in the NPA and he felt as if he was walking in a long dark tunnel and he couldn’t see the end of it.

I showed him my understanding and sympathy that time. But then he told me that they had pinpointed two main culprits who were sentenced to death by a so-called people’s court and were still waiting for the sentence to be confirmed by the Mindanao Commission.

After some time I was visited in my parish by another close friend of mine in the movement during the early days of martial law in Manila. She told me that her husband was one of those two culprits and he was executed by a firing squad in the mountains.

She told me that this execution was totally uncalled for but she had no time to go into details. She was invited to go up there and fetch the dead body of her husband for burial in Davao. She brought the cadaver in the church of San Francisco for a blessing. This was a traumatic experience I never will forget.

It prompted me to leave the priesthood and marry the wife of that parish worker. I adopted also her six young children. When my friend Madlos will read this story again, I hope he will realize that the so-called protracted struggle of the NPA is utter madness. Madlos is manipulated by another madman, Joma Sison who is presently hiding in Holland.

I believe Sison could be extradited from Holland and brought back to the Philippines so that he can answer for the crimes he has committed against the Filipino people. But Madlos also must eventually subject himself to an investigation of a Truth Commission on crimes of the insurgency war.

[Email: nolvanvugt@gmail.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 31, 2013.

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