DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Alvin Luque, a known Davao activist who joined the National Democratic Front in Mindanao to become its spokesperson, was killed by a joint special action team when he resisted arrest in Tandag, Surigao del Sur at the early hours of December 10, Human Rights Day.
Luque, who is known as Ka Joaquin Jacinto, and a companion were killed inside Hermenias Resort. The military’s 4th Infantry Division said in a statement that Luque and his companion resisted arrest and opened fire, prompting the team to fire back.
Major General Andres Centino, 4th ID commander, said Luque was serving five warrants on criminal cases for kidnapping and serious illegal detention, attempted murder, and trafficking.
The Communist Party of the Philippines said in their statement that Luque was unarmed as he was recovering from paralysis.
“He has detached a few months ago from the main office of NDFP Mindanao to undergo medical checkups and to recuperate from partial paralysis. (H)e was physically debilitated and could not walk after he underwent intense physical struggles amid heavy enemy operations and counter-guerrilla maneuvers,” the statement said.
A news report from Kodao identified Luque’s companion as a medic named Rodel Macana.
General Allan Hambala, commander of the 401st Brigade, told Mindanews that they knew Luque was “injured” following a military operation in Andap Valley, Surigao del Sur around the late part of May. Reports even surfaced that Luque and another ranking New People’s Army leader in Caraga were killed in that encounter.
Hambala said Macana’s remains have been claimed by his family coming from San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Luque’s body is yet to be claimed by his family reportedly based in Cotabato.
The CPP condemned the killings and demanded an impartial investigation.
“This dastardly crime must not go unpunished. We seek the entire truth behind Ka Joaquin’s murder and seek an impartial investigation by an independent body. We urge the military troops involved in the operation to come out and reveal what they know,” their statement said.
The communist group paid tribute to Luque “He would be remembered by the masses and the Red fighters for his almost constant jolly mood. He would serve as host of small meetings and big gatherings and lead in educational sessions,” they said.
Luque was a prominent activist in Davao City. He studied AB English at Ateneo de Davao University. He was elected as a first-year representative and constantly figured as a student leader known for his booming voice and eloquence with a British-like accent.
He taught in Assumption College of Davao, and later became secretary-general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Davao and was constantly in the public eye during transport strikes, and in the Estrada Resign Movement.
Luque was invited by then-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run as councilor under his party during the 2001 election, which he narrowly lost.
In 2002, Luque was charged by the 73rd Battalion of rebellion and insurrection, after criticizing the battalion for the killings of farmers in Pangyan, Tamugan. Luque sought refuge in Cagayan de Oro but was still harassed by state elements.
Luque lied low from the public eye for a couple of years, but on December 26, 2009, he appeared during an anniversary of the CPP revealing he had joined the revolutionary movement to seek refuge.
In January 2010, he wrote a public letter sent to the media, explaining that after years of being hounded by the military for his activism, “there is no way out of the brutality and impunity under this government except to fight against it.”
He further said he had no regrets about the decision. “I will use this life to make my mark, together with other revolutionaries, in liberating the people from a rotten society. And should I die in the course of this fight, it is one death I know that is well worth bearing.” (davaotoday.com)Alvin Luque, Counter insurgency, duterte, Mindanao, National Democratic Front in the Philippines, ndfp, New People's Army, NPA, Philippine left, Revolutionary movement in the Philippines