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Comrade Lucas (Rendell Ryan Cagula): Young Red fighter, student leader

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CPP Southern Mindanao Regional Committee
November 13, 2014

The Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines salutes Comrade Lucas (Rendell Ryan Cagula) whose young life ended in the battlefield while fighting the fascist enemy troops of the 27th Infantry Battalion in Maasim, Saranggani at 2 pm November 4, 2014. Comrade Lucas died along with martyred Red fighters Ka Payat, Ka Doming and Ka Jappie.

Rendell Ryan Cagula was born on February 26, 1991 in Davao City to a lower petty bourgeoisie family. He was the easygoing and friendly RR to his neighbors and friends. His academic records speak for his high intelligence and leadership acumen. He graduated the elementary level with salutatorian honors at the Davao Holy Trinity Academy. In high school at the Daniel R. Aguinaldo High School, he became the editor-in-chief of the student publication The Reflector, and a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology enrolled in the school’s honor’s section.

He took up Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology at the University of the Philippines Mindanao. He became president of the Summer Bridge Program, college representative and later president of the UP Mindanao student council. He was elected executive vice president of the Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP (KASAMA sa UP), the national alliance of UP student councils. He was also a member of Pi sigma- Pi sigma Delta fraternity, Anak UP Min and Dugong Antro. He became active in campaigning for better school facilities, ouster of UP President Roman who pushed for the 300% increase in tuition fees, and higher budget subsidy for state universities and colleges. He joined the League of Filipino Students and the Kabataan Partylist, where he was the regional spokesperson and coordinator, respectively.

In his foray with these organizations, he became exposed to the basic ills of society and the sorry state of peasants, workers, indigenous people and the urban poor. His study of society led him to an awakening that the same ills can only be cured not by reforms but by a systemic change through an armed revolution. Thus, it was only a matter of time before Cagula was recruited to the Kabataang Makabayan and later as full member of the Communist Party. As a tireless organizer, agitator, educator, and methodical facilitator, he took up key tasks at the Party branch in the youth and student sector. A Party cadre he truly had become, when he decided to stop schooling and concentrate with his Party work.

He resolved to go to the countryside in December 2013 and joined the New People’s Army. He was later deployed to the Far Southern Mindanao Region where comrades and the peasant masses admired his innate leadership skills, critical thinking and fortitude. Cagula became Comrade Lucas when he left the comforts of city life and became a Red fighter who followed the iron discipline contained in the NPA’s three rules of discipline and eight points of attention.

His daily routine was such that he woke up early morning at 4am, and went the tents of his other comrades to stir them up; later they would do morning exercise and maximize breakfast immersing with other comrades. Comrade Lucas became a medic and conducted barrio mass clinics. That he carried heavy medical paraphernalia alongside his already full backpack and an issued M16 rifle, was no burden for Comrade Lucas. He was happy with the masses. In between mass clinics, he taught the indigenous people and peasants of basic political education. In organizing the peasants, he participated in farm work for the communal production. He also did tapping rubber, planting vegetables and helping with the peasants in their individual farms.

In less than year, he became the political instructor of a platoon belonging to the Guerrilla Front 73 and worked in its recovery areas. There he began learning four different dialects of the indigenous peoples, to help him effectively immerse with the masses. He was tireless in agitating comrades to remain firm and steadfast in spirit. Relentless enemy attacks and series of engagements in Saranggani have made organizing efforts in the recovery areas more difficult for Comrade Lucas. And when the enemy engaged their fighting platoon last week, he heaved his last breath while courageously exchanging blows with the enemy.

Comrade Lucas’ death comes a little over a month after the death of Comrade Jack (Rhaim Buanjug) a youth activist turned Red fighter who died from complications of malaria disease last September 22. The deaths of the two young Red fighters from Davao City were untimely, indeed, for they could have given more for the well-being of the masses and for the national democratic revolution. But comrades and the masses who dearly loved them know that in so short a time in their young lives, the two have left an irreplaceable mark in history.

The enemy’s spin doctors and hysterical anti-communists are quick to debase Comrade Lucas and his death as a senseless consequence from a useless war. They attempt to sensationalize the killing to dissuade young activists and student leaders from participating in the people’s war. They rant against so-called indoctrination, activism and recruitment of the youth in obvious denial of the reality that the young are boundless sources of communists who have the daringness and intellectual capacity to help the masses in waging an agrarian revolution in the countryside. The anti-communist attack dogs capitalize on the deaths of young Red fighters as an occasion to bolster the futility of waging an armed revolution. And yet their propaganda sounds hollow in the face of mounting support from the youth in both cities and in the countryside to become part in the fierce struggle to attain total emancipation.

The ever exploitative and oppressive conditions of the Philippine society continue to provide fertile ground for the young to join the revolution. Comrade Lucas’s martyrdom teach that the youth should never fear sacrifice for there can be no revolutionary victory without sacrifice, to not waver in the face of any setback, to always uphold the revolutionary cause, to not let down guard, rely on the masses at all times, and to strive more in order to defeat the enemy.

Thus, we shall prevail, because the people and the battlefield are our infinite sources of strength and support. Comrade Lucas’ example and the martyrdom of other Red fighters continue to inspire the revolutionary forces to steadfastly carry out the most urgent tasks in advancing the revolution, to outwit the enemy and to resolutely bring the people’s war to revolutionary victory.

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