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Romulo Jallores


in Cherish

With the upsurge of youth activism in the early 70’s, Romulo Jallores, a third-year high school drop-out who did odd jobs for a living in the periphery of the university belt, was drawn to the youth organization Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK). He attended teach-ins and discussions of the group in reading rooms of the University of the East. He marched with them in demonstrations and protest rallies, his tall built towering over the throng.

Courageous and aggressive, Romulo joined a band of youth in commandeering a truck to ram the gates of Malacañang. That demonstration of January 30, 1970 signalled the start of the First Quarter Storm (FQS). The Nation carried an article on the event entitled “Siege of Malacanang.” In the photo, among the youth on top of the truck, was Romulo wearing a beret like Che Guevara. Ernesto Che Guevara was the Argentinian expeditionary revolutionary whose name created waves not only in Latin America but also across the globe after the victory of the Cuban revolution led Fidel Castro with his help. From then on, Romulo came to be known in the activists’ circle as Che.

Further studies and discussions during his stint in the SDK headquarters in Taytay, Rizal deepened his understanding of the fundamental problems of the Philippine society—of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. Their relation to stark realities dawned on him: the impecunious situation of their family, a brood of 10 raised solely by their mother; the discrimination he experienced in school because he was not moneyed like his other classmates; the wretched plight of the landless farmers and parahagot in the abaca fields in Tigaon, a town in Camarines Sur.

Concern and compassion for the poor and the oppressed were inherent with Romulo. From boyhood, he had always sided with the underdog—the bullied playmate or the losing one in a game. Selfless, the welfare of others was prime to him. Thus, it was never difficult for him to abide by the call to serve the people.

The high idealism and aspiration of the youth stir them to pursue the path to change, meaningful change that will uplift people’s lives, especially those of the disadvantaged and marginalized. Heeding the words of Mao Zedong, the youth set out to integrate with the masses of peasants and workers—learning from them, consolidating their ideas and experiences, arousing and organizing them, helping them achieve their emancipation.

Romulo, with his elder brother Ruben and student-comrades in the movement, went back to his hometown in Tigaon, Camarines Sur. Initially, they joined in organizing a people’s movement—the Bagong Katipunan which had been short-lived. Later, they proceeded to the rural areas to immerse with the farmers and abaca workers. They helped them plant their food as they enlightened them on issues and as they organized them.

When the writ of habeas corpus was suspended in August 1971, Romulo and Ruben visited their mother to bade her farewell. That was the last time she talked and saw them.

At age 24, the country kid, who had ventured to Manila to earn for a living from odd jobs in garage and machine shop, who had become an activist thirsting for knowledge and hungering for change, had turned into a red fighter, gaining the monicker Kumander Tangkad for his over six-foot height. His brother Ruben took the name Kumander Benjie. Kumander Tangkad believed, as he had learned in the past, that only an armed revolution can liberate the people from the fetters of the semi-feudal structure that US imperialism with its local cohorts of landlord/comprador and bureaucrat capitalist foster. Resting on the creativity and strength of the masses, the people’s war erupted in the hinterlands of Tigaon.

The people rejoiced and fully supported the New People’s Army, their protector from the abusive Philippine Constabulary (PC) and bad elements who stole their carabaos. Making a dent on the control of the fascist troops in the area, the NPA was pursued like mad by the PC.

In an encounter on December 18, 1971, Kumander Tangkad sustained eight gunshot wounds. While recuperating in a rented apartment of a relative in Ateneo Avenue in Naga City on December 30, 1971, the PC came to get him following a tip of his whereabouts received by the Provincial Commander Antonio Habulan. The troops summoned him to surrender. But brave and tenacious as he was, surrendering to the enemy would be the least he would do. Mao’s quotes were ingrained in his mind, “Wherever there is struggle, there is sacrifice, and death is a common occurrence.” “Dying for the interests of the people is a worthy death.”

Using his wounds as pretext, Jallores urged them to come and get him. But as soon as the troops entered the room, they were met with fire from a .45 caliber felling PC Lt. Segundino Agahan dead. Retaliating, the PC riddled Jallores with a volley of shots. Twenty-two bullets on his body snuffed out the life of Kumander Tangkad.

But the legend of Kumander Tangkad lived on and thousands took up the rifle he dropped. The flames of the revolution kindled in Tigaon raged into a conflagration that engulfed and spread throughout the region. In due time, organs of political power were also set up in guerrilla zones.


in Cherish
Adapted from Punla, the revolutionary literary publication of Bicol

The good sons and daughters of the country immerse with the masses, join them in their struggle and devote their lives in changing the unjust social order for a future devoid of oppression and exploitation. They do not only master the art of war but they rise above human frailties of ambition, grandeur and self-aggrandizement. They observe organizational discipline and practice simple collective life.

The person behind the Eduardo Olbara Command of the New People’s Army in Camarines Sur, Eduardo Olbara or Ka Andoy was one among the flock. Born to a poor peasant family, he left grade school to help the family. They own a piece of land but its paltry produce was not enough to sustain their needs. Even if they worked in the abaca plantation to augment their revenue, it was never enough.


His father was among the first persons that Romulo Jallores (Ka Che) got in touch with when the latter returned to Camarines Sur, his hometown. Ka Che’s group was the first to start mass work and organizing in Bicol and later formed the first unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the region.

Every time Ka Andoy came home from his work in Laguna, he had fruitful discussions with the group. These raised his awareness and understanding of the problems plaguing society. From there dawned the realization of the need for revolution.

In 1973, after coming home from work, he decided to go on fulltime with the group. His elder brother had gone on fulltime before him. July of that year, he joined the group in its mass work in the boundary of Buhi, Camarines Sur and Polangui, Albay. That was the time when state armed forces were in full deployment in Camarines Sur.


Earlier on in 1972, enemy forces began their massive and coordinated military campaigns against the very first guerrilla zone in the province in an attempt to snuff out the burgeoning revolution. The revolutionary forces in Camarines Sur confronted the rampaging Task Force Isarog of the enemy. They tried to skirt the patrols and strike operations of the battalion-strong Philippine Constabulary. But the intensive military operations resulted in the shrinking of the mass base. In December 1973, the NPA unit was left with only three barrios to operate in.

To preserve the forces, the NPA unit decided to transfer from Camarines Sur to Albay. Ka Andoy was part of the remaining squad that retreated and became the first Armed Propaganda Unit in Albay. There, they seized the opportunity to consolidate and strengthen the forces. From there, they managed to expand to other places and return to the guerrilla zone they left behind.


In 1974, Ka Andoy was assigned to communication work with the Bicol Technical and Liaison Staff (BTLS) based in the city. However, in December of that year, a series of arrests took place. When Ka Andoy eluded arrest, he was immediately deployed to the countryside.

Thus, from 1975 to 1980, Ka Andoy was one of the cadres in Albay assigned to the armed propaganda unit (Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda, SYP) for expansion work. Here, he honed his teaching and propaganda skills, as well as his ability to mobilize the peasant masses. He also effectively initiated the agrarian revolution by leading the campaigns for lowering of rentals in the haciendas.

Through earnest assessment and summing up of his rich experience in warfare, Ka Andoy enhanced his skills in military work. He became one of the best military cadres in the revolutionary movement.

During an encounter in 1979, his left hand was hit by a bullet that caused a deformity—as if his hand was holding the hand guard of an armalite. This had been his hallmark since then, a sign of readiness for battle.

In the first Party regional conference in 1981, Ka Andoy was elected member of the CPP-Bicol Regional Committee. He was assigned to oversee the front committee in Albay. He headed the work of the first district. He also guided the District Guerrilla Unit covering the towns of Oas, Libon, Ligao and Guinobatan.

In 1982, he led an ambush which became one of the most remarkable tactical offensives that gained military and political victory. He led the NPA unit’s ambush of the 564th Engineering and Construction Battalion operating in the boundary of Camarines Sur and Albay. This battalion had just replaced the former 52nd Philippine Constabulary Battalion. The head of the Battalion, Col. Laberinto was killed.

Simultaneous with tactical offensives, agrarian revolution was launched. The campaign to decrease land rental in the first district of Albay in 1982, called Oplan Pakyaw, became a provincial mass campaign in 1983.

In 1985, from the Front Committee, Ka Andoy was transferred to the new full company formation in Albay. He was designated as the first commander of the company formation deployed in Southern Bicol (Albay and Sorsogon).

After a political-military training in Brgy. Mabayawas, Libon, Albay in June 1985, the company was put on a defensive when attacked by the enemy. However, due to the superb tactics and maneuver of the revolutionary force, it managed to fend off the enemy’s advance. The enemy was overrun and suffered tremendous loss of lives, especially because it even had a misencounter with its own reinforcement troops.

The entire NPA company was able to maneuver safely without any one killed nor wounded. This encounter, which lasted for six hours, was the first recorded longest battle in Bicol between the revolutionary forces and the state forces.

The following year, Ka Andoy led two successive ambushes in Brgy. Banao, Oas and Brgy. Binogsacan in Guinobatan. The ambushes were notable for their effective application of guerrilla warfare.

In 1986, Ka Andoy was designated the first vice regional commander of the Regional Operational Command. He participated in the planning of military campaigns and assisted in the conduct of political-military trainings in the region. Despite his multifarious activities as troop commander, Ka Andoy shared in the day-to-day chores. He gathered supplies. He cooked. He also spent time socializing with the troops in their light moments. This established his closeness with his comrades.

Ka Andoy valued the welfare of his comrades highly but he never expected any special treatment. He was also fully aware of the role each red fighter had to take in their collective tasks that was why he could lead effectively. Ka Andoy’s comrades and the masses did not hesitate to approach him. He was truly concerned of their wellbeing. He was easy to deal with. One would readily feel at ease with him. He was gentle and courteous.

He was quick to notice if a comrade had a problem. He personally talked to him and gave his advice. He always tries to help his comrades, find solutions to their problems. Former comrades also sought him for consultation.

Ka Andoy abided strictly to the policies of the revolutionary movement. If he had reservations regarding certain issues and policies, he registered his reservation but he complied to what was decided or voted upon by the majority of the collective.

Ka Andoy was adept with techniques and tactics. He competently led big tactical offensives. He joined actual intelligence work. In actual encounters, he advanced with his troops but he assured that he was in full control of the entire fight. During tight situations, he never left his comrades.

Ka Andoy was a good and loving father and husband. He was solicitous for his three daughters. Yet he was open to sacrifice. He would endure being separated from them for a long time. He never dilly-dallied to entrust his children to the masses. He had full trust that they will take good care of them.

Even before the Second Great Rectification Movement, Ka Andoy was one of those who had reacted to the ill-effect of the untimely regularization of the troops as he witnessed the dwindling of the mass base.

Ka Andoy was killed in a defensive battle in Brgy. Alanao, Lupi, Camarines Sur on April 14. 1989. He was supposed to attend a meeting when the house where they stayed was encircled by the enemy.

In honor of his valiant and meritorious contributions to the struggle, the provincial command of the New People’s Army in Camarines Sur was named after Eduardo Olbara Command, Ka Andoy in the revolutionary movement.#

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