Tribute to Ka Roger - I
■ Part I ■ Part II ■ Part III ■ Part IV ■ Part V ■ Part VI
October 10, 2011
■ Messages and Poems
■ Video interview of Ka Roger
■ Song composed by Ka Roger
Gregorio (Ka Roger) Rosal
1947 - 2011
the Central Committee said, “The ability and patience, the sharpness and
intelligence, the patriotism and love of country demonstrated by Ka Roger
further raised the prestige of the Party and the revolutionary movement.”
Ka Roger stood
out as a very unassuming leader who, for all the fame he had
attained among the revolutionary forces and the general public, remained
consistently modest and un-self conscious till the very end.
to a comrade and friend, Ka Roger was not only humble as a person, he
exuded a sense of knowing his rightful place in the people’s movement, in
the larger-than-life story of the people’s struggle for national and
social liberation. Thus he would assume no airs in this regard.
|Ka Roger and Ka Bart with Sen. Loren Legarda at the release of POW Army Major Noel Buan on April 6, 2001|
TRIBUTE TO KA ROGER
Julie and I wish to convey our most heartfelt
condolences to the daughters and entire family of Comrade Gregorio Rosal,
Ka Roger, and to all cadres and members of the Communist Party of the
Philippines, all the Red commanders and fighters of the New People's Army,
all adherents of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the
broad masses of the Filipino people.
PARANGAL KAY KA ROGER
Naipakita rin ng kilusan ang lakas ng
rebolusyonaryong katangian at organisasyon sa kakayahan nitong pangalagaan
ang kaligtasan ni Ka Roger mula sa walang habas na pagtugis sa kanya ng
kaaway, gayundin sa paulit-ulit na pagtatanong ng kanyang kapwa mga
brodkaster sa malaking media.
|▲ Photos from the Facebook account of Marco Valbuena ▼|
Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal -
Karaniwang Tao na Naging Kawal
Bawal ang pagtatanim ng marijuana
Ka Roger at the release of POW Army Major Noel Buan
Mindoro, April 6, 2001
Photos by Arkibong Bayan ▼
Ka Roger inspired a generation of Filipino youth to
serve the people
|Arriving at the site for the POW turnover to Philippine govt officials|
Ka Roger, 64
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)
released the following statement today concerning the demise of its
spokesperson Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal:
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)
wishes to inform its entire membership, all revolutionary forces and the
public in general that CPP spokesperson Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal passed
away in a guerrilla zone on June 22 after suffering a heart attack. He was
The public announcement was delayed to allow
the concerned organs of the CPP to inform Ka Roger's daughters of their
father's demise. Intense military operations prevented information from
reaching his daughters with dispatch. Ka Roger's siblings have also been
informed of his passing.
On October 15, all units of the NPA will fall
in formation to pay tribute to Ka Roger. At exactly 12 noon, they will
carry out a gun salute in his memory. All units of the CPP and
revolutionary mass organizations are enjoined to launch tribute meetings
to remember Ka Roger and his contributions to the historic revolutionary
struggles of the Filipino people.
The CPP Information Bureau can be reached through Media Liaison Marco Valbuena via cellphone (09156596802 or 09282242061), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Twitter (www.twitter.com/marcocpp) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/cppmedia).
A Red salute to Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, 1947-2011
For more than a decade as the Party's
spokesperson, and prior to this, as spokesperson of the New People's Army
in Southern Tagalog (Melito Glor Command), Ka Roger was the face and voice
of the revolutionary movement of the Filipino people. He symbolized the
struggle of ordinary folk--the peasant masses, workers, the urban poor,
employees and small professionals--who had lofty aspirations of liberation
from the ruling system that oppressed and exploited them.
As the spokesperson of the Communist Party of
the Philippines, he was the bearer of good news about the revolution. His
voice fired up the courage of both Red fighters and the struggling masses.
The oppressed and the downtrodden thirsting for justice saw him as the
conduit for airing their grievances.
Like the majority of Filipinos, Ka Roger grew
up oppressed and impoverished in the countryside. He was born on April 19,
1947 in Barangay Talaibon, Ibaan, Batangas. ?Goring“ was the third of six
brothers and sisters: Nicetas, Bernardo, Felecidad, Emilia and Remedios,
now deceased. Their father Pablo Rosal and their mother Crispina Crusat
were both tenants serving a small landlord whose fields were mainly
planted to sugarcane. His father boiled and stirred sugarcane juice to
make muscovado while his mother tended to the fire. His family belonged to
the middle stratum of the middle peasantry and supported calls for
At a young age, Ka Roger was witness to
poverty under an oppressive and exploitative system. He worked hard even
as a child in order to help his family. From grade school to his second
year in high school, he was for eight years a servant at their landlord's
household. He became an avid radio listener and read comic books as a
pastime. Poverty forced him to stop his schooling for several years. To
continue his formal education, he peddled mosquito nets and other goods
that he bought on credit from loan sharks. He traveled far and wide to
different provinces. Wherever he went, it was the same face of poverty and
oppression that he saw.
He was able to enter college at the Golden
Gate Colleges in Batangas City in 1971 only at the age of 24. It was a
time of ferment for the youth and students in Manila and other cities.
As he went around selling his wares, Ka Roger
occasionally encountered rallies and listened to the speakers. He began
joining street protests and seriously studied history and current social
conditions. Ka Roger became a member of the Kabataang Gabay ng Bayan, a
Batangueño activist group. He later joined the Kabataang Makabayan.
Through his study of society and integration with the masses, he was able
to deepen his grasp of the roots of the poverty and oppression suffered by
the people. Gradually, he steeled his determination to become part of the
historic movement that would change the face of society and open a new
chapter in the people's lives.
When martial law was imposed in 1972, Ka Roger
decided to continue his revolutionary involvement. He became part of a
team that was tasked to organize workers at the Batangas Sugar Central in
Balayan, Batangas. In July 1973, he was captured by the enemy and detained
at a military camp in Kuomintang, Batangas City. He was later transferred
to Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang, Calamba, Laguna. Determined to continue
working for the revolution, he bolted prison along with nine other leading
Party cadres in the region in November 1973 in what became known as ?The
By 1975-76, Ka Roger became part of the first
organizing team in the Quezon-Bicol Zone that led the advance of people's
war in Camarines Norte. He eventually led the guerrilla front committee
established in the area.
In succeeding years, Ka Roger became part of
the history of revolutionary expansion and advance in the whole of
Southern Luzon, especially in the Southern Tagalog region. In 1980-81, the
CPP Southern Luzon Commission issued a decision forming the Southern
Tagalog Regional Committee encompassing the provinces of Laguna, Batangas,
Cavite and Rizal. Ka Roger was appointed to the regional committee as
deputy secretary for education. When the South Quezon guerrilla front was
later placed under the jurisdiction of the Southern Tagalog Regional
Committee, Ka Roger played a major role in expansion work in South Quezon
and the Bondoc Peninsula. After a few years, he became secretary of the
Laguna-North Quezon-Eastern Rizal guerrilla front.
Under his leadership, armed struggle and mass
struggles advanced in these areas. The Quezon-Bicol Zone, South Quezon and
the Bondoc Peninsula played crucial roles in expanding and consolidating
the revolution in other parts of the Bicol region and Southern Tagalog.
Mass struggle and mass actions launched in these areas played major roles
in invigorating protest actions nationwide at the start of the 1980s. In
1985, Ka Roger was appointed as the fourth member of the Southern Tagalog
Party Committee, elected member of the Regional Executive Committee and
the Regional Secretariat a year later.
It was also at this time that Ka Roger met Ka
Soly (Rosemarie Dumanais) who would later become his wife. Ka Soly was
then a young Red fighter. They had two daughters who they loved dearly and
whose care they entrusted to their relatives and friends. Even if their
daughters largely grew up away from them, Ka Roger and Ka Soly
consistently saw to their welfare and security.
In 1989, AFP Southern Luzon Command chief Gen.
Alejandro Galido ordered fascist agents to abduct Ka Roger and Ka Soly's
elder daughter Andrea from her grandmother's house in Ragay, Camarines Sur.
The AFP had wanted to pressure Ka Roger to surrender. Instead of
succumbing to such pressure, Ka Roger bravely exposed this heinous crime
to the media. The military was forced to release Andrea in the face of the
ensuing public outcry.
Ka Roger was witness to the major strides
taken by the revolutionary movement in Southern Tagalog. Nonetheless, he
also witnessed one of the darkest episodes in its history. In 1988, the
region launched ?Operation Missing Link,? an anti-deep penetration agent
campaign that led to violations of democratic rights. Although he had no
direct role in the detention, torture and killing of a number of the
victims, Ka Roger was among those criticized and meted disciplinary action
because of his accountability as one of the region's leading cadres and
his failure to take a stand against the hysteria. He criticized himself
for this with all humility.
When he was later assigned to Laguna where
OPML was mainly conducted, he constantly reminded the Red fighters to
humbly apologize to the relatives of the victims. The wounds eventually
healed and revolutionary mass struggles advanced in the guerrilla front.
Whatever he experienced in his personal and
political life, Ka Roger never despaired. He fulfilled his duties as best
as he could. Beyond this, he made outstanding contributions in the field
As a leader of the Party, he knew full well
the importance of propaganda work in advancing people's struggles. Ka
Roger pioneered active propaganda work on radio and other mass media. In
1986, he first became known as ?Ka Roger? when he oversaw the release of
prisoners of war in Quezon. In 1987, he served as the spokesperson of the
National Democratic Front (NDF) in Southern Tagalog in peace negotiations
with the Government of the Philippines. In the next several years, as
spokesperson of the Melito Glor Command, Ka Roger tirelessly engaged the
mass media to explain the CPP and NPA's views on various issues. He
likewise oversaw the publication of Kalatas, Southern Tagalog's
revolutionary mass newspaper, and broadcasts of Radyo Pakikibaka, the
region's revolutionary radio station.
Ka Roger was appointed as Party spokesperson
in late 1993. Among his first duties was to advance the Second Great
Rectification Movement in the field of propaganda. He went all out in
engaging in political battles the counterrevolutionary renegades who
resisted the rectification movement and maligned the Party.
Ka Roger was appointed to the National
Propaganda Commission in 2001 and served as its deputy secretary. Besides
serving as the CPP's spokesperson, he also helped oversee the regular
publication of Ang Bayan, as well as work in the Philippine Revolution Web
Central and Sine Proletaryo, the CPP's video outfit.
For more than a decade, he served as Party
spokesperson and headed the CPP Information Bureau. From VHF radios to
modern cellphones, he used all methods of connecting with the mass media
to transmit nationwide news from the guerrilla fronts. Ka Roger's voice
and his straightforward explanations of complex issues were eagerly
awaited daily by Red fighters and ordinary folk throughout the country.
His simple style of presenting the Party's
stand was extremely effective in helping people deepen their understanding
of the issues and raising their political consciousness. He always exposed
the lies spewed by the reactionaries, especially the fascist spokespersons
of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who endlessly concocted one
prevarication after another. Thus, he was deeply hated by the
He invited reporters, broadcasters and writers
from the media to the guerrilla zones so that they could see for
themselves the reality of the revolutionary movement and how this was
being advanced by the Filipino people. Inside the guerrilla zones, they
came to know Ka Roger as a simple man. They listened to him as intently as
he listened to them convey their problems and grievances. Ka Roger gained
their respect, if not their admiration. The ability and patience, the
sharpness and intelligence, the patriotism and love of country
demonstrated by Ka Roger further raised the prestige of the Party and the
As the CPP's spokesperson, Ka Roger was
indefatigable in bringing news of the Philippine revolution. He would hike
for days, cross rivers and seas and go on long road trips to get to
wherever he was needed. He granted almost all requests for interviews, any
day and at any hour. Because of this, he gained many friends in the media.
Ka Roger once sang ?Lumang Simbahan“ in a duet on the air with the famous
singer and broadcaster Tiya Dely Magpayo.
As Party spokesperson, Ka Roger led several
public activities, including a celebration of the Party's founding
anniversary in Laguna in 1993 attended by thousands of people who gathered
under the CPP banner. He oversaw the release of several prisoners of war
in Southern Tagalog and Bicol. Despite intense AFP operations, he was able
to conduct press conferences in guerrilla fronts in Laguna, Albay, Quezon,
Mountain Province and other areas.
With their extreme hatred for Ka Roger, the
military kept on slapping him with various trumped-up charges. He was
demonized and portrayed as a criminal. A `5 million bounty was offered for
his capture and millions of pesos were spent on fascist military
operations to kill or capture him.
Ka Roger paid no mind to fatigue and the
dangers attendant to the fulfillment of his duties. He would spend late
nights writing, studying and presiding over meetings. He would rise at
dawn and immediately resume working. Tireless work soon took a toll his
health and resulted in a number of major illnesses. In 1995, he almost
died of typhoid fever contracted after a long and gruelling journey to a
guerrilla zone. He suffered a relapse when he decided to immediately
resume his revolutionary tasks despite his doctor's advise for him to take
a month-long break.
In 1997, he suffered his first stroke. But he
quickly recovered and was able to return full swing to his revolutionary
work. He suffered his second stroke in 2000 and had to go on leave for a
few months. But as he did after his first attack, he strove to return to
his revolutionary work in the countryside.
From 2006 to 2011, Ka Roger was cared for by a
team of comrades who ensured his security, medical needs and quality of
life. Although he could no longer assume his usual responsibilities, he
kept in close touch with the Information Bureau and was consulted from
time to time on its work. Despite his handicaps, Ka Roger kept himself
well-informed about advances in Party work, especially in the bureau. He
continued to participate in collective discussions, education work,
planning and criticism and self-criticism sessions. He happily engaged in
discussions with comrades who never tired of listening to his stories
about his activist days, his experiences in the countryside, his
daughters, wife and mother. During light moments, he would grant comrades'
requests for him to play his harmonica.
His daughters were able to visit him on
several occasions and stay for weeks to months on end to help care for and
deepen their bonds with him. Ka Roger was happy to see his daughters grow
up serving the people. He was also pleased with the fact that although he
and his wife divorced in 2003, they remained friends and good parents to
their daughters. Although they were often away from him, his daughters
wrote to him often to keep in touch and ask his advice on various life
Ka Roger spurned the offers of medical
assistance from the AFP. He was aware that these were traps and saw the
hypocrisy behind them, as the military never withdrew the bounty on his
head and relentlessly pursued operations for his capture.
|Ka Roger welcomes Sen. Legarda, Bishop Milamena and others to the site.|
Ka Roger and Atty Romeo Capulong of
the Public Interest Law Center (PILC)
Executive Secretary Ermita with fellow Batangueno Ka Roger
On April 19, 2009, comrades gathered for Ka Roger's 62nd birthday. The CPP took the occasion to pay tribute to him and remember his contributions to the Philippine revolution. They sang ?Awit ng Kainginero“ which Ka Roger composed in the 1980s in Southern Tagalog as a tribute to ordinary peasants. They all saluted him for the life he dedicated to serving the people, the Party and the revolution.
Until he breathed his last, Ka Roger devoted
every moment of life to the hungry and deprived and their revolutionary
struggle for social justice and national liberation.
The entire membership of the Communist Party
of the Philippines, Red fighters of the New People's Army and the Filipino
people are one with his family and friends in mourning his death. With
clenched fists raised and rifles held in salute, they hail Ka Roger, an
oustanding communist, courageous Red fighter, militant defender of the
people, respected comrade and good friend.
Ka Roger leaves behind a legacy of triumphs and memories that are permanently etched in the
revolutionary annals of the Filipino people. His name, which now joins that of other heroes of the Philippine revolution will forever inspire the Filipino people in their struggle for national and social liberation.~
Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal: The Undying Voice of the
People and Revolution
|Ka Roger with GMA administration officials that include DOJ Sec Perez, Executive Secretary Ermita and DAR Sec Braganza|
|Ka Roger with GRP chief peace negotiation Atty. Bello|
|Government officials with Ka Roger and Ka Bart (Tirso Alcantara)|
Kung bakit may humiwa sa aking puso
Tribute to Ka Roger: Revolutionary Salute to Gregorio Rosal
Reposted from Pinoy Weekly:
Carlos dela Cruz
the east or west wind;
Ikaw at ang naniningkit mong mga mata
|Family meets after 22 months|
Alay sa Mga Dakila
Very brief speeches before the POW
is turned over to the government
officials throught services of the ICRC and various groups
Awit ng Kainginero
|▲Ka Roger signs the safe conduct passes of government officials and guests ▼|
Alay sa Magiting na
oo, la tierra pobreza
|Stills from The Correspondents ▼|
Hindi Sasapat ang Ganito
Mabuhay ka Ka Roger
Obet de Castro
Interview with Ka Roger
From: The Correspondents
See Part 2, 3, 4, 5