CPP Negros pays tribute to NPA spox in latest Ang Paghimakas issue
The Communist Party of the Philippines’ Negros Island Regional Party Committee (CPP Negros) offered its “firmest red salute” to Ka Juanito Magbanua whom it called a “hero of the Negrosanon and Filipino people” and “inspiration in the fight for national liberation and social emancipation.”
Romeo Nanta, 64 years old, well-known for his nom de guerre Ka Juanito Magbanua as spokesperson of Apolinario Gatmaitan Command – New People’s Army Negros Island Regional Operational Command (AGC-NPA), was killed in “cold blood by fascist 94th Infantry Battalion soldiers after he was captured and tortured on October 10 in Sitio Medel, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.”
According to CPP Negros, “the ailing Ka Juaning [Magbanua] was barely armed and not in the position to give battle.”
As hors de combat, he should have been treated as prisoner of war and afforded the full range of rights in accordance with Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions per International Humanitarian Law (IHL), it stated.
CPP Negros also slammed 303rd Brigade commander BGen. Pasaporte for “shamelessly using the death of Ka Juaning as war trophy and prating nonsensically on the supposed ‘impending collapse’ of the NPA in Negros as a result.”
39 years of serving the people
Meanwhile, it acknowledged Magbanua for dedicating 28 years of his life as Red fighter and commander, and Party member and cadre for 39 years—which was only interrupted briefly when he was arrested in Cadiz City in 2011.
It also listed some of Magbanua’s achievements before he was appointed as NPA spokesman in 2010.
As Red commander, according to CPP Negros, most notable among tactical offensives led by Magbanua were the ambush of CAFGU foot patrol in Sitio Namulo, Barangay Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental in February 2000 wherein two CAFGU and one Army regular were killed-in-action and one CAFGU member was wounded-in-action; the ambush in Sitio Bulod, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City in August 2000 that killed 17 enemy soldiers; the raid against RPA bandits in Brgy. Biao, Binalbagan in 2002; and the raid of Barangay Mahalang, Himamaylan City CAFGU detachment in February 2004 that yielded four high-powered firearms.
Jovial, down-to-earth comrade
Magbanua was described as a tough NPA spokesperson, clashing head-on “with reactionary mouthpieces” and vehement against human rights violations especially of peasant killings in Negros.
But among comrades and the masses, he was jovial, down-to-earth and approachable, CPP Negros noted in its tribute statement.
He was a cook, an electrician, acupuncturist, musician, among others to the masses, it stated.
Excerpts of tribute statements from the five guerrilla fronts under AGC-NPA were also published in Ang Paghimakas’ November 2022 release along with statements from NPA Negros, National Democratic Front – Negros, and Kabataang Makabayan (KM) – Negros.#