Raise our fist high for Ka Rogelio Posadas! Succeed his revolutionary optimism in seizing the initiative to ensure the victory of the people’s war on Negros Island!

This article is available in Hiligaynon

“The history of exploitation says that it will not abandon the stage of history of its own volition. It needs to be destroyed by the democratic-revolutionary movement of the people.” – Ka Rogelio Posadas

The Negros Island Regional Party Committee (NIRPC) with the entire membership of the Party, the Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the revolutionary forces on Negros Island raises its fist high in salute to Rogelio “Ka Cocoy” Posadas, 62, who spent most of his life as a true servant of the exploited masses, especially of Negros Island, until his death by the hands of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) butchers last April 20.

Ka Cocoy was abducted along with Lyngrace Marturillas and habal-habal drivers Renel delos Santos and Denald Mialen by elements of the 303rd Brigade-Philippine Army while travelling through Isabela-Hinigaran Road on April 19, around 6:00 in the evening. After hours of physical and mental torture, his body was transported by helicopter during ungodly hours the following day to Sitio Cabite, Brgy. Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental where the AFP spent millions to make believable that Ka Cocoy was gunned down during a 10-minute firefight with the 62nd Infantry Battalion (62nd IB) and 94th IB. Meanwhile, the butcher 303rd Brigade keeps mum on the enforced disappearance of his companions.

Summarily executing revolutionaries is a policy of politically weak regimes such as that of Duterte and Marcos Jr. Negros Island has a long list of outstanding revolutionaries like Ka Cocoy who were salvaged by the reactionary state such as his fellow National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Consultant, Ericson Acosta, NPA Negros Spokesperson Juanito Magbanua (Romeo Nanta), and regional cadres Kerima Tariman (Ka Ella), Marilyn Badayos (Ka Monet) and Florida Ceballos (Ka Kelly). They were all captured defenseless and then killed in cold-blood similar with the slaughter of Benito Tiamzon (Ka Laan) and Wilma Austria (Ka Bagong-tao) and eight comrades, Jorge Madlos (Ka Oris), Menandro Villanueva (Ka Bok), and many others.

Ka Cocoy was born to a rich peasant family from Davao City. He was sent to the San Carlos Seminary in Cebu to enter priesthood during the height of the First Quarter Storm in the 1970s. He was influenced by the brewing nationalist student movement and the anti-fascist sentiment in the Martial Law era. He took part in basic masses integrations in urban poor and farmer communities which exposed him to social realities.

Before long, Ka Cocoy left behind his personal interest of becoming a priest and instead became a full-time organizer for the youth and students sector in Cebu. In 1985, he was part of the fact-finding mission that probed the bloody Escalante Massacre.

Due to his unwavering commitment, Ka Cocoy was recruited to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and subsequently joined the New People’s Army (NPA) in Central Visayas. He was part of the team conducting Social Investigation and Class Analysis (SICA) in the region to serve as basis for the continuing expansion and consolidation of the revolution.

During the split in the late 1980s, Ka Cocoy staunchly reaffirmed the basic principles of the Party despite the revisionist trend of some members of the CPP leadership. In the early 1990s, he helped educate Party cadres, Red fighters and the masses in Central Visayas regarding the Second Great Rectification Movement.

Ka Cocoy was deployed to Negros Island in 1998 and, as a member of the Provisional Executive Committee on the island, took charge of education work in Guerrilla Front 1 (now Central Negros Front). His firm grasp of the Marxist style of study resulted to his positive contributions in the recovery, advance and revitalization of the revolutionary movement on the island.

When the NIRPC was re-established in 1999, he became part of the regional secretariat as deputy secretary for education. In 2000, he became the secretary of Guerrilla Front 2 (now South Central Negros Front) and led the expansion and recovery towards Southwest Negros. Five years later, he became the Political Commissar of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command, the NPA’s Regional Operational Command on Negros Island.

Afterwards, Ka Cocoy became secretary of the North Negros Front (NNF) in 2006 until his incarceration in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental in 2014. Through the Party’s guidance and his leadership as NNF secretary, the three integral components of people’s war—mass base building, armed struggle, and agrarian revolution—were comprehensively advanced.

Several victorious annihilative tactical offensives were mounted including the raids of the AFP detachment in Sitio Pulupanyan, Brgy. Bug-ang, Toboso and Sitio Minabuno, Brgy. Malasibog, Escalante City in Negros Occidental which yielded a total of 25 high-powered rifles. Antifeudal campaigns that spawned revolutionary mass organizations and facilitated mass base building also spanned six cities and three towns where land cultivation areas covered 62 haciendas and over 2,000 hectares, benefitting over 3,000 farmers and farm workers. In realizing the three integral components, the Roselyn Jean Pelle Command of the NPA grew in strength with the guerrilla front expanding to three platoons.

Amid the all-out war of the Duterte regime in 2019, Ka Cocoy became secretary of the NIRPC. He led the successful summing-up of the region’s 25-year experience in waging the people’s democratic revolution. He was the driving force of comprehensive counter-encirclement campaigns and always advocated learning to fight by fighting. With the heightened focused military operations of the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the current illegitimate Marcos regime, he strived to lead the NIRPC in solving the problems and weaknesses that impeded the revolutionary movement in Negros to fully overcome the enemy’s onslaught and raise the level of people’s war on the island.

Ka Cocoy was a modest and cheerful comrade, often scouring around the camp to look for tugalpo and wild mushrooms to eat. He had his own signature humor yet he was also mindful of his comrades’ hardships. He was open and aboveboard, resolute in drawing the correct ideological, political, and organizational line when it came to it. He was outstanding in his critical manner of studying theory. He always endeavored to take part in the practice of revolutionary work especially to help resolve crucial matters that, if not resolved, may cause difficulties in the long run.

He would allot time and patience to share his revolutionary experience with younger cadres and teach them about Marxist philosophy. Despite his advanced age, sacrifices and difficulties never daunted Ka Cocoy. During hard times, he was a beacon of revolutionary optimism; reminding comrades to be on the offensive, to always seize the initiative and to carefully analyze the situation to ensure a victorious outcome.

Until his last breath, Ka Cocoy was a revolutionary. He was a Marxist who walked the talk in wholeheartedly dedicating his life to serve the people—especially the farmers and farm workers of Negros—whom he lived with to investigate their plight, fight with them and lead them to realize a society of genuine liberation and just and lasting peace.

Rogelio Posadas’ physical body may have been killed but he has left behind a living legacy of excellent achievements and lessons that will guide the new generation of Negrosanon revolutionaries how to carry forward the people’s democratic revolution. He has passed on to younger cadres the correct standpoint, viewpoint and method in confronting complicated and hard social realities of the country, of history and of the people’s struggles. His life is a book of great stories of what and how it is to love the Filipino people. Imbued with Ka Cocoy’s spirit, Negrosanons will again frustrate the enemy’s pipe dream to decimate the NPA in Negros and, in the process, stir up and spread the flames of people’s war on the island!

Raise our fist high for Ka Rogelio Posadas! Succeed his revolutionary optimism in seizing the initiative to ensure the victory of the people’s war on Negros Island!