MANILA, Philippines – “Ka Roger” is dead.
In a statement, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the voice of the communist rebels known for his folksy and down-to-earth comments about the revolution passed away on June 22, 2011.
The CPP confirmed the death of Gregorio Rosal, better known as “Ka Roger”, on October 9, but the military has declared that he was long gone.
The decades-long CPP spokesperson suffered from a heart attack, his third. He died “in a guerrilla front in Luzon,” wrote the CPP.
He was 64.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has claimed in November 2010 that Ka Roger has not been seen since his last public appearance in October 2008 and may have died from a lingering illness.
Ka Roger “responded” through a New Year greeting published on January 1, 2011 on the group’s website.
He had called on the Filipino people to renew their resolve for revolutionary change.
The AFP then challenged him to show up and even asked him to join in the peace negotiations between government and the communist National Democratic Front of the Philippines panel in January-February 2011.
Marvic Leonen, the government’s chief negotiator with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said in his tweet that he “salutes Ka Roger, ordinary person turned principled revolutionary. Put his life in harm’s way to live his way to serve the people.”
Renato Reyes Jr, secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, said in his Twitter post that Ka Roger “inspired a generation of Filipino youth in the 90’s to serve the people in the countryside.” Move.PH