Rebels call Army’s offer of medical help to Madlos ‘cheap gimmick’

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/15 January) — The 4th Infantry Division announced it was willing to extend medical assistance to National Democratic Front – Mindanao Spokesperson Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos who has been suffering from a renal ailment.

A source in the underground movement, however, laughed off the offer as “cheap gimmick,” saying Madlos, 62, has been doing fine and is a “survivor” of his renal ailment for almost 20 years already.

Madlos regularly puts on a catheter in order to relieve pain caused by his long standing ailment. The source said the rebel leader has been in that condition since the early 1990s.

Major Eugenio Julio C. Osias IV, spokesperson of the 4th ID, said that the Army’s offer of medical treatment was a humanitarian act.

The 4th ID’s area of responsibility covers Northern Mindanao and Caraga Region which includes Surigao del Sur where Madlos operates.

Meanwhile, the 4th ID announced the surrender of two New People’s Army guerrillas Wednesday.

The two surrenderees are Ceto Manlipana Manlagunta and his son Carlito Sigahan Manlagunta of Barangay Kinabaybay, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur. They claimed to be members of NPA Front 88 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Command. They surrendered a cal .30 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) and an M16 rifle both of which were loaded with ammunition.

Major General Victor A. Felix, commander of the 4ID said that he was delighted over the increasing number of rebels who had surrendered. NPA rebels were reported to have surrendered in Regions 10, 11 an13 (Caraga).

“The rebels realized the futility of their armed struggle and that their lives would be a lot better if they work hand in hand with the government for their communities. We are once again calling for our brothers in the armed struggle to surrender and join the mainstream of society and live fruitful normal lives”, Felix said.

Osias, also the commanding officer of 4th Civil Military Operations (Masaligan) Battalion, said that during debriefing the surrenderees acknowledged that they were forced and duped to join the rebel movement.

“The two who just recently surrendered last week gave us the names of the NPA supporters who brought them into the rebel movement. They are also open to the idea of promoting and helping convince their friends and comrades to put down their arms and come to the folds of the
government and have a far better life than that of hiding in the mountains. Let us wait for more surrenderees to come in this first quarter of 2011,” Osias said.

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has  been waging an armed struggle for four decades already. The NDF, political umbrella of the communist movement, had entered into an on and off peace negotiation with the Philippine government since 1986.

Formal peace talks between the two parties are set to resume in Oslo, Norway next month after years of being stalled. The peace panels are holding informal peace talks January 14 to 18 in Oslo. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)