(Photo courtesy of Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Council of Elders and Leaders)

DAVAO CITY – The Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Council of Elders and Leaders (MIPCEL) expressed elation Tuesday over the death of Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) leader Jorge Madlos alias ‘Ka Oris’ they referred to as the "butcher" of the IP’s in Mindanao.

Madlos was killed together with a fellow rebel, in an encounter in a mountainous area in Impasugong, Bukidnon on Oct. 30

“MIPCEL is happy to inform our constituents of the news that Ka Jorge Madlos aka Ka Oris is dead. He is eliminated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” the MIPCEL statement said.

MIPCEL said Madlos' death was a welcome development for all the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC)-IPs in Mindanao since he was identified as the chief implementer of the terrorist programs of the CPP.

“There is a reason for the IPs of Mindanao to celebrate and thank the AFP for a job well done,” the statement added.

According to MIPCEL, Madlos is the secretary of the Kommid, the highest organization of the CPP-NPA in Mindanao, and her wife Maria Malaya, the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Northeastern Mindanao Region, are both accountable for 17 major atrocities committed against IP’s in Mindanao.

“We also reiterate the call, especially for our IP brothers and sister victimized by these communist terrorist groups, to surrender and return to your communities,” MIPCEL added.

The IP group also assured their fellow IPs that the government is willing to receive them with open arms.

“Let us end this reign of terror in our ancestral domains for the last five decades and instead cooperate in building a united, empowered, and developed ICCs/IPs,” MIPCEL said.

MIPCEL said systematic and continuing killings of IPs, both leaders and ordinary members, were rampant in the areas where Ka Oris operated.

“Now at least we can say to Datu Jumar Bucales and all the IP Leaders and members killed, little by little, [that] justice has been served,” the group added.

In October last year, Datu Hawudon Jumar Bucales, of the Manobo tribe, and the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, along with seven others, were traveling to Barangay San Isidro when they were waylaid by some 20 suspected NPA combatants.

Bucales had previously released statements against the NPA and other party-list groups and led the closure of Lumad schools in Surigao del Sur.

MIPCEL added that the area where Madlos operated is the same area where the ALCADEV Lumad schools and the Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) are located.

The IP group also recounted that the single biggest destruction done by the NPA under the watch of Madlos against a private company was the attack and burning of equipment of the Taganito Mining Corporation located in Barangay Taganito Claver, Surigao del Norte in 2011.

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 National Democratic Front (NDF) has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)