The nom de guerre “Ka Roger” was popular among the farmers of Southern Tagalog. Everytime the family name “Rosal” and the name “Gregorio” appear in newspapers and heard on the radio, they send chills to the bones of the ruling class. Put together, they form the noble name of Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal.
The name of Ka Roger reverberated in many corners of the Philippines. With his skill and knowledge, Ka Roger was recognized by the revolutionary movement as a prominent revolutionary leader and was made spokesperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Born in Ibaan, Batangas in 1947, Ka Roger came from a family of farmers. He grew up impoverished and witnessed the rottenness of the system. From grade school, Ka Roger started to work while studying, and this lasted until he reached second year high school.
Because of the extreme poverty suffered by his family, he was forced to stop schooling for several years. He sold mosquito nets and other items. He was able to study at the Golden Gate Colleges in Batangas City in 1971. Here Ka Roger discovered the path that he would follow until his death. At first, Ka Roger would only listen to the speakers in a rally.
It wasn’t long until he became a member of the Kabataang Gabay ng Bayan (a local youth organization). He would become sharp in studying history and the social conditions. Later, he became a member of the Kabataang Makabayan (Patriotic Youth, an allied member of the NDFP).
He would integrate in communities in Batangas, and his understanding and grasp of the conditions of the Filipino people would further deepen.
Ka Roger continued his revolutionary struggle despite the imposition of martial law. He would be arrested in 1973 but he and nine other members of the Party would be able to bolt prison. He went directly to the countryside to continue with his tasks.
Ka Roger contributed so much to the advance of the revolution in Southern Tagalog. He led and was among those who established guerrilla fronts in Laguna and Quezon, and bravely undertook organizing work in the Quezon-Bicol zone, which he would later lead. Because of his proficiency, he would be elected in the leading committee of the Party in Southern Tagalog and would handle great responsibilities.
In 1985, Ka Roger met his wife Rosemarie “Ka Soly” Dumanais. They will have two children whom they entrusted to the care of their relatives and friends. In 1989, AFP Southern Luzon Command Chief Gen. Alejandro Galindo ordered the arrest of their eldest daughter, Andrea. The order was immediately exposed by Ka Roger which led to their daughter’s release.
However, a time came when the Party would be severely damaged by its errors. Ka Roger wholeheartedly took responsibility for the errors and promptly rectified and undertook self-criticism. While gradually recovering from the damage, Ka Roger became an excellent propagandist and contributed greatly to the advancement of propaganda work.
One of the brilliant contributions of Ka Roger was his being a radio broadcaster when his voice first aired on various media channels. Ka Roger tirelessly reported and explained on the current social situation, the condition of the toiling masses and the need for revolution and its victories.
Ka Roger took on heavy responsibilities when he became part of the National Propaganda Commission. He supervised the publication of Ang Bayan and other publications. This led to the great advancement of propaganda work that extended to the media controlled by large corporations.
He was well-loved by reporters, more so by other revolutionaries and the masses whom he was fortunate to interact with. Meanwhile, the AFP’s hatred for Ka Roger intensified. They filed trumped-up charges against him, demonized his image, put a Php 5 million bounty on his head and launched multiple military pursuit operations that all failed and were successfully thwarted by the Party and the NPA.
But due to Ka Roger’s long-term illness, he would die of a heart attack on June 22, 2011. His decades of contribution to the Philippine revolution ended with his death. Nevertheless, the ray of greatness and heroism of Ka Roger continue to shine upon the new generations of the Philippine revolution. His death is but a sign that the state can never crush the revolution.
For the previous generations, Ka Roger has served as an inspiration to all revolutionaries all over the Philippines, especially to the revolutionary forces in Southern Tagalog. Today we pay our highest tribute to Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal as we remember his death and commemorate his greatness!
The life of Ka Roger is as heavy as Sierra Madre!
Long live Ka Roger!
Long live the Philippine revolution!
This statement was originally published in Filipino by NDFP-Cavite on June 22, 2023.