Slain student rebel, 3 others hailed

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Friday hailed four of its members, including a student leader, who were killed by soldiers in a clash in Maasim town in Sarangani province last week.

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The rebel group confirmed the death of 23-year-old Rendell Ryan Cagula, a student at the University of the Philippines in Davao City and known in the New People’s Army (NPA) as Comrade Lucas, and three others identified only as Ka Payat, Ka Doming and Ka Jappie.

“The Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines salutes Comrade Lucas whose young life ended in the battlefield while fighting the fascist enemy troops of the 27th Infantry Battalion in Maasim, Saranggani at 2 p.m. on November 4, 2014,” the CPP said in a statement.

The communist group said Cagula, a known activist, became exposed to the basic ills of society and the sorry state of peasants, workers, indigenous people and the urban poor. “His study of society led him to an awakening that the same ills can only be cured not by reforms but by a systemic change through an armed revolution,” it said.

The CPP said Cagula joined the rebel group in December last year and was deployed in southern Mindanao where NPA fighters and civilians admired his innate leadership skills, critical thinking and fortitude. “Cagula became Comrade Lucas when he left the comforts of city life and became a Red fighter who followed the iron discipline contained in the NPA’s three rules of discipline and eight points of attention,” it said.

Cagula also served as a medic in the NPA and conducted mass clinics in the villages. “He was happy with the masses. In between mass clinics, he taught the indigenous people and peasants of basic political education. In organizing the peasants, he participated in farm work for the communal production. He also did tapping rubber, planting vegetables and helping with the peasants in their individual farms,” the CPP said.

Last month, another young rebel Rhaim Buanjug, also known as Comrade Jack, also died from malaria. Buanjug was also a former activist in Davao City.

“The deaths of the two young Red fighters from Davao City were untimely, indeed, for they could have given more for the well-being of the masses and for the national democratic revolution. But comrades and the masses who dearly loved them know that in so short a time in their young lives, the two have left an irreplaceable mark in history,” the CPP said.

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