“He was known to be the mild-mannered, big-built man who had no qualm about carrying out simple tasks,” remembers Ka Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson of the New People’s Army (NPA) Southern Mindanao Regional Operational Command.
A year after Eduaro “Ka Choi” Arnado was martyed in a firefight on February 28, 2020 with joint operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, Red fighters and revolutionary masses of Southern Mindanao conferred highest revolutionary tribute to him.
Ka Choi’s unit encountered enemy troopers in Sitio Lamurok, Barangay Marapangi, Damulog in Bukidnon. He, along with other Red figthers, were in the vicinity to actively campaign and organize against the Chinese-funded South Pulangi Hydro-Electric Power Plant (SPHEPP).
The project is detrimental to the communities straddling the Pulangi river. According to the NPA regional command, several months prior to Ka Choi’s death, the 19th IB had positioned its troops in these villages to force the masses to give up their struggle against the destructive dam.
The project is part of the Duterte regime’s flagship Build, Build, Build program. It will estimatedly affect the lives and livelihood of 23 villages with a population of about 40,000. The project has been stalled many times in the past due to the contined united resistance of peasants and Lumad around Pulangi river.
Ka Choi was well loved by the Lumad and peasant masses for his affinity to their cause, added Sanchez. As a son of poor peasant settlers in Saranggani, South Cotabato, he knew well the struggles of the oppressed and exploited masses
Red fighters, commanders and comrades remember him as model of humility, and revolutionary optimism. “He is a a Communist who has struck deep roots among the masses and embodied Comrade Mao Tse Tung’s legacy and immortal words: pay attention to the well-being of the masses,” ended Sanchez.