Celebrate Ka Ara and all martyrs’ lives of selfless struggle! Join the New People’s Army!

The Regional Operations Command of the New Peoples’ Army in Southern Mindanao and all revolutionary forces in the region remember the revolutionary life and memory of Zyra May “Ka Ara” Ligad and four other Red fighters who were martyred to the cause of the people’s war earlier this year.

As we near marking the 48th year of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the Filipino people continue to struggle against the present fascist US-Duterte regime’s iron rule, we pay highest tribute to our fallen revolutionary martyrs and remember their invaluable contributions to the national democratic revolution. We enjoin the youth to follow in Ka Ara’s footsteps by valiantly rejecting and resisting Duterte’s de facto martial law and join the ranks of the true army of the people, the New People’s Army.

Ka Ara, 20; Edgar Cañon, 49; Moling Jasub, 37; Ka Aiza, 19; and Ka Oyda were killed just before daybreak on January 25 in an air-raid launched by the 60th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at Sitio Damayon, Brgy. Kasapa II, La Paz in Agusan del Sur. The AFP initiated focused military operation at the beginning of this year, in an opening salvo of intensified fascism and extravagant military spending for their desperate counter-insurgency targets just at the advent of Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

Year after year, Duterte has been insistent in purchasing more and more attack helicopters and beef up the warchest for his regime’s counterinsurgency war, disregarding more important basic social services such as public health and education. It is ironic, therefore, that while the bellicose Duterte professes to be inutile and willing to yield the country’s sovereignty by default in the face of China’s aggressive military incursion into Philippine waters, his fascist regime has the gall to appropriate P33 billion of taxpayers’ money to bankroll next year’s atrocious attacks of the AFP against the Filipino people.

In Southern Mindanao, the AFP’s focused military operation has siphoned millions of public funds, especially in its wanton use of aerial bombardment. The Filipino people are furious that their taxes are being used with impunity for the costly war that victimizes peasants and Lumad and revolutionaries like Ka Ara.

Ka Ara served as political officer of the NPA units of North Davao – South Agusan Subregional Command. Submitting herself both as a student and teacher of the masses, she strove to critically examine the objective social realities and living conditions of peasants and Lumad in their areas of operation. Comrades remember her as a young Party leader who studied Marxism-Lenenism-Maoism and painstakingly applied our tenets in order to foster cohesion among Red fighters and the masses. She became articulate in her ideas in debates, educational discussions, and one-on-one conversations with Red fighters in her capacity as political officer.

Prior to being in the countryside, Ka Ara was a passionate and persuasive activist and organizer of the youth and student movement at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Urban-based activists who used to worked with her fondly remember her dynamic efforts to campaign about the pressing issues of the day, roaming around the school corridors and being nicknamed ‘ate klasmeyt’ by students excited for her updates, news and critical analyses. In her old life as a student activist, Ka Ara was indeed an embodiment of the righteous rage of the urban petty bourgeoisie critical of the ills of the semicolonial and semifeudal state.

Like most activists who chose the road less traveled, Ka Ara forwent with the opportunities that a college diploma could afford and decided to join the NPA in pursuit of social justice. In the banal fashion that the AFP has become accustomed to, her life decision of selfless service to the people and leaving behind her studies and family is vilified and taunted as being irresponsible, even meaningless – never mind the fact that the AFP continues to inculcate its fascist traditions among Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) recruits and conscript youths to become mercenaries in the oppressive war against the Filipino people.

In our enduring people’s war, every fallen revolutionary is honored with the highest tribute. This stands in stark contrast with the reactionary state’s counterrevolutionary war, where common foot soldiers are considered expendable and their deaths routinely disavowed by the AFP echelon in order to save face or gloss over the fact that theirs is a losing and unjust war. It is in this context that comrade Mao Zedong’s words ring truer than ever: To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather.


Celebrate Ka Ara and all martyrs' lives of selfless struggle! Join the New People's Army!