Philippines: Revolutionary Leader “Ka Roger” has passed

In this file photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004, rebel spokesman Gregorio Rosal gestures as he talks to journalists during a clandestine news conference in a communist New People's Army encampment in northern Luzon, Philippines. The outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines said Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, that Gregorio "Comrade Roger" Rosal died in a guerrilla zone on June 22 of a heart attack. He was 64. The popular Philippine communist guerrilla served as the movement's spokesman for years and gave a face to one of Asia's longest-running Marxist insurgencies.

“Ka Roger” dead at 64

By AARON RECUENCO, Manila Bulletin

October 9, 2011

Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, for many years the spokesman for the communist insurgency in the Philippines, is dead, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) revealed Sunday.

In a statement posted on its website Sunday afternoon, the CPP said Rosal succumbed to a heart attack last June 22 in a guerrilla front in Luzon at the age of 64.

“The entire membership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), Red fighters of the New People’s Army, and the Filipino people are one with his family and friends in mourning his death,” the statement read.

Marco Valbuena, the media liaison of the CPP Information Bureau, said the public announcement was delayed to allow CPP officials to inform Ka Roger’s daughters of their father’s demise.

“Intense military operations prevented information from reaching his daughters with dispatch. Ka Roger’s siblings have also been informed of his passing,” Valbuena said.

The third of the six children of sugarcane planters in Batangas, Rosal got his first taste of militant activism when he joined a small group called Kabataang Gabay ng Bayan, a Batangueño activist group, and later the Kabataang Makabayan.

He became more militant when martial law was declared in 1972. The following year he was arrested and detained in a military camp in Batangas City.

In November 1973, he and nine others bolted jail. It was after his escape that he joined the CPP-New People’s Army and became part of the guerrilla front established in the Laguna-Quezon border along the Sierra Madre mountains–the so-called Larangan ng Kagitingan or Front of Heroism. Continue reading