DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The New People’s Army Southern Mindanao claimed foul that one of their leaders was murdered by state operatives in Cebu while recuperating from an undisclosed illness.
This was claimed by Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson of the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command, in a statement on October 27 claiming Dennis Rodinas, alyas “Ka Mayen” was a “hors de combat”, a French term referring to combatants incapable of fighting due to injury, sickness or wounded in action.
Rodinas was shot dead by a joint police-military operative who located his house in Sibugay, Cebu City on the Sunday night of October 11.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command spokesperson Major Eduardo Precioso claimed Rodinas engaged the 30 operatives in a gunfight. But Sanchez in his statement said Rodinas was weak to fight.
“(He) was recuperating after having sought medical treatment for his illness and was therefore unable to give battle when armed state agents stormed in the house and summarily executed him,” Sanchez claimed.
The NPA spokesperson demanded the release of Rodinas’ companions in the house, a pregnant Girlie Mercado and two of Rodinas’ relatives, Ryan and Rodelyn Moralde, who are not NPA members.
A local news report quoted police claiming Rodinas went into hiding in Cebu after embezzling finances from the Communist Party. But Sanchez refuted the claim, saying Ka Mayen sought medical treatment for his failing health last year.
The statement attributed Ka Mayen as one of the commanders of the Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command, and among his role was leading the raid of the house of Monkayo Mayor Joselito Brillantes Jr in April 2015 that yielded 74 firearms, and another raid against a security firm for mining companies in Butuan in 2012 where they took 66 firearms.
He also led an NPA unit to carry out “revolutionary justice” against Loreto, Agusan del Sur Mayor Dario Otaza whom they claimed was a paramilitary leader.
He was also credited for the operation that burned warehouses of Lapanday Foods Corporation on April 2017. At that time Lapanday refused to accede its land to agrarian reform beneficiaries and were harassing the beneficiaries.
Sanchez said Ka Mayen’s murder stands in contrast to the NPA’s treatment of AFP and PNP prisoners of war. He recalled the rescue of Ka Mayen from custody where they took four police wardens as “prisoners of war” and had treated them well and had released them safely.
The NPA statement saluted Ka Mayen as a martyr who was recruited in his college days in Davao, and turned into “one of the leading Red commanders of petty bourgeois background who contributed greatly to the upsurge of the people’s war in Southern Mindanao.” (davaotoday.com)