NPA deceptions destroy future of female cadres: ex-rebel
By John Rey Saavedra / Philippine News Agency
Sentrong Alyansa ng Mamamayan Para sa Bayan (Sambayanan) chairman Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz. (PNA file photo)
CEBU CITY – A former cadre of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) on Monday urged the remaining female members of the communist terrorist group to take the unfortunate fate of their comrades who were either caught, jailed, or killed in armed encounters as a lesson and a reason for them to leave the movement.
In a statement, Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz, chairman of Sentrong Alyansa ng Mamamayan Para sa Bayan (Sambayanan), underscored the National Women’s Month celebration as a time for the female cadres to reflect on the deceptions of the CPP-NPA that forfeit their future as women.
“And in this National Women’s Month, what happened to numbers of female NPA members who have been caught, jailed, and worst, killed may serve as a wake-up call for the remaining victims of communist deception to now come to grip with reality on how they have been used and radicalized in a lost cause, wasting their gifts and squandering their opportunities. It is now or never,” he said.
Celiz said the arrest of Ramon Patriarca alias “Using”, the deputy secretary and finance officer of Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros along with his two cohorts during a joint military and police operation in Barangay Su-ay, Himamaylan City in southern Negros Occidental, is disturbing.
He said what got his attention is information regarding Patriarca’s companion, Carmen Jonahville Matarlo alias “Loisa” or “Avon,” 28, a native of Poblacion, Argao, Cebu and cum laude graduate of Mass Communications from the University of the Philippines-Cebu.
Celiz said Matarlo is vice chairman of the Kabataan Partylist-Cebu Chapter and allegedly belonged to the NPA's Komiteng Rehiyon Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor (KR-NCBS).
The former Iloilo activist said the arrest of Patriarca and his comrades in Negros Island on March 18 is the latest in the government’s efforts in the Visayas to run after the communist terrorists waging a more than five-decade-old armed struggle.
“What transpired may be a lesson to the remaining members of the communist terrorist group to either go back to the folds of law and surrender, or get caught and jailed, or die in an encounter. And just like Ramon Patriarca, no matter how he escaped his previous rebellion case, he still ended up getting arrested with the recovery of firearms and NPA documents. No matter how long it takes, they still end up getting caught, dead or luckily alive,” Celiz said.
He said “for someone so young and intelligent, Matarlo could have embarked on greater opportunities in employment or pursued anything she wanted.”
Celiz expressed alarm over how the idealism and dynamism of the two female rebels and many others in similar situations were capitalized to encourage armed struggle against the government.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The NDF has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)