Nine years ago, we had the opportunity to document the life inside the New Peoples Army (NPA) guerrilla base somewhere in Northern Mindanao. This was also the last time we interviewed NPA leader Jorge Madlos, popularly known by his nom de guerre as Ka Oris.
This multimedia material was among the projects produced under the Panglantaw Mindanao of the Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University under Press Freedom 2.0, a program of an alliance of four Dutch NGOs led in the Philippines by the World Press Photo.
On October 30, the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division commander Maj. General Romeo Brawner Jr. confirmed the death of Ka Oris in a clash with government troops in the hinterlands of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.
According to Brawner, the death of Madlos was a result of the military’s relentless operations and a tip from the civilians. ( Read story here)
However, Madlos’ wife Maria Malaya, who also serves as the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front in Northeastern Mindanao Region belied the military’s report as she claimed that her husband was ambushed. (Read story here)
Following the death of Madlos, rebel movement has lost the face of the communist revolution, particularly in Mindanao. He has been known for graciously granting interviews to journalists and even inviting journalist inside his base in the hinterlands of Mindanao in several occasions — particularly during the anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
According to the military, the death of Ka Oris, perhaps the last among the “old guards” of the communist movement in Mindanao, could lead to the dismantling of guerrilla fronts and mass base organizations across the region.
Check more New Peoples Army pictures in my folio.