National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Concha Araneta-Bocala called her late husband Reynaldo a genuine revolutionary who gave five decades of his life serving the masses of Panay Island.
In a loving tribute to her life-long partner and fellow NDFP consultant, Concha said she grieves for Reynaldo and companion Willy “Ka Ramon” Arguelles, killed in what the Philippine National Police (PNP) said was a simple service of arrest warrants that turned bloody.
“I grieve for my comrade and my husband Ka Reynaldo Bocala, more lovingly known as Ka Hans, Ka Bading and Ka Minoy to the masses in the countryside of Panay. I also grieve for Ka Ramon his trusted and reliable companion. We all grieve for them. Unarmed, they were traitorously and brutally murdered by the fascist mercenaries of the tyrant Duterte,” Concha said.
Herself in hiding as among those listed as terrorists by the Rodrigo Duterte government, Concha said she is torn by the killing of her husband of 50 years but she is proud and happy that he had lived to his pledge of serving the people and the Party (Communist Party of the Philippines) “until his last breath.”
Concha credited Reynaldo as a key figure in the consolidation and upsurge of the underground revolutionary movement in Central Panay and in the anti-fascist struggle south of the island related to the downfall of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship in 1986.
She said Reynaldo also organized the island’s indigenous Tumandok to fight for their right to their ancestral lands.
“Ka Minoy (Reynaldo) gave 50 years of his life in the revolutionary struggle. He was well-loved by the masses for his wit and humor, sharing stories and laughing with them, his down-to-earth style when giving lessons to the masses and practicality in guiding them on how to organize and mobilize their fellow peasants,” she said.
Reynaldo and Willy were killed by a team of police and military operatives in Providence Subdivision, Brgy. Balabag, Pavia, Iloilo City on Tuesday, May 29.
A Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees document of identification, ensuring his protection against surveillance, arrest, detention and assassination, was discovered among his possessions after the incident.
Patient husband, loving father
In her tribute, Concha said her husband was a loving father to their four children.
“[Y]our father, tatay loved you so much, too much. You know that and you can feel that,” she said.
Concha said she and Reynaldo met 50 years ago, got married and had two daughters and two sons.
While her husband failed to see their revolution succeed, Concha said she hopes their children, grandchildren and succeeding generations will see its inevitable victory.
“His life and work as a revolutionary may have taken his time away from you but his work was also for you and for all later generations that you may live decently as hard working people, enjoy genuine freedom and live full and happy lives,” she said.
Concha also revealed Reynaldo had been a patient husband to her, a headstrong woman born of privilege.
“To my comrade and husband, thanks for all the love you showered me even as I’m not easy to deal with, impatient, [lovingly] irritating almost always, and prickly as I may have inadequacies [as lover and wife],” she wrote in Hiligaynon.
“I give you my love admiration and respect,” she ended. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)