Kuwento

The NPA vs a 78-year-old woman

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Last August, Senator Teofisto TG Guingona III gave a powerful and impassioned speech praising heroes who fought against the Marcos tyranny, including two renowned figures of the underground left.

On Saturday, the underground left tried to kill Senator Guingona’s mother.

Mayor Ruth de Lara Guingona of Gingoog City INQUIRER PHOTO

She’s 78 years old.

The attack on the elderly mayor of Gingoog City underscored the tragic, deadly turn in the history of a movement once portrayed as the defender of the weak.

In fact, even TG Guingona’s dad, Tito Guingona, a veteran street parliamentarian before he became vice president, appeared to acknowledge the New People Army’s storied past even as he lamented how the underground left has lost its way.

The UG left’s ideology, he said according to a television news report, “seems to have been lost… It need not have happened. Two lives were lost.”

Ruth Guingona survived but her driver and security escort were killed in the ambush. They had just come from a fiesta.

Who could blame TG Guingona from blasting the NPA for attacking “an elderly and innocent woman who is already bowing out of politics” and for killing “loyal employees of long standing in our family’s home in Mindanao?”

From Robin Hood is the underground left morphing into the thugs of  ‘Boyz ‘N the Hood?’

Meanwhile, leaders of the UG left have been scrambling to explain and apologize. That’s a good sign. For this undoubtedly was a mindboggling act of political arrogance and violence.

An even better sign is that there’s more talk of advancing ongoing peace talks and ending the decades-old war that has taken the lives of some of the country’s brightest and most promising young men and women.

The biggest irony in this tragedy is that the Guingonas know the stories of these young Filipinos. And they even celebrate their courage and bravery.

Tito Guingona’s book ‘The Gallant Filipino’ featured short biographies of unsung Filipino heroes. One of them was the revolutionary activist Edgar Jopson.

In his privilege speech honoring the late Senator Lorenzo Tañada, TG Guingona also mentioned Jopson calling him  “my fellow Atenean.” He paid tribute to another Atenean, the poet Eman Lacaba. Both joined the underground left and died as martyrs of the fight against dictatorship.

“When the martial law regime deprived us of rights and liberties, scores of Filipinos became heroes,” Guingona continued, also paying tribute to Rolando Olalia, Alex Boncayao and Lean Alejandro, as well as Chino Roces, Evelio Javier and Pepe Diokno.

“Those years yielded widespread resistance among lovers of freedom and democracy,” he said.

Senator Teofisto Guingona III

“The intelligentsia and common tao, the rich and those who toil, they joined hands to fight for freedom in the hills and the streets. Dapat maisalaysay nang paulit-ulit ang kanilang laban.  The story of their fight should be told over and over again to warn future dictators that Filipinos will fight for democracy, freedom and our rights no matter how long it takes.”

A noble and important goal, especially for us who were part of that fight.

But then again, telling these stories, while an important task, can also be a challenging one – especially when it comes to dealing with forces and personalities who want to tell a tired, old story, who cling to the belief that only one group, only one ideology can chart the right course for the nation.

For it’s also become increasingly clear, that the stories that heroes like Edgar Jopson and Emmanuel Lacaba began have been twisted and mangled by those who would consider  an elderly woman a legitimate political target.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • The Lighthouse

    Yes, it’s ironic that those you consider as heroes will try to kill your family.

  • AllinLawisFair

    Is Jose Maria Sison being supported by the Dys of Isabela, too? Why have they been visiting Sison in Utrecht, The Netherlands? The last time a Dy visited him was in the middle of September last year, (2012).

  • globe_smart_sun

    apat na doble ang pa dito ang ginawang kawalanghiyaan ng afp/pnp pero mahal nyo parin sila! Hypocrite!

  • m1600

    Last month I read an article published by INQ a former husband and wife(BERNAL AND mYLENE tINDUGAN OF vIRAC) NPA rebeL lin sAN aNDRESS cATANDUANES was assassinated by their former KASAMA WHAT tragic in this story was the woman was 7 months pregnant. The husband was begging to spare his wife but to no avail. Mga hayup talaga ang mga algad ng demonyo na Npa nagpapahirap sa kapwa nila mahihirap.

  • Mark

    NPA is a hopeless case, they lose their ideology because Marcos is no longer in power, what’s left is their criminal nature to survive and be a relevant entity.

  • beer_leader

    ayaw ng majority ng Filpinos sa komunismo kaya yung tanggol ng tanggol sa mga hayup na komunista dito mag migrate na kayong lahat sa north korea kasama ng mga idolo niyo.

  • jgl414567

    The NPA’s ideology have become irelevant and obsolete and have now morphed into terrorists and extortionist like the abbu sayyaf all criminals!

  • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

    now you need a palparan and a marcos to eradicate them.
    those two are considered criminals until you become victims.

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