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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Nov) – Rebel leader Jorge Madlos aka “Ka Oris” had reportedly suffered from kidney failure and frequented this city to seek medical treatment in the months before he was allegedly slain in an encounter with government troops in Bukidnon last weekend, even as the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said that Madlos “remained healthy and strong until his last years.”
Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, chief of the Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command, said Madlos traveled to Cagayan de Oro from Cebu before going to Bukidnon where a massive military operation finally caught up with him.
“Here in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon, the NPA has a network of supporters who are doctors and nurses who can attend to Madlos,” he said.
Almerol said Madlos, 72, who hails from Dapa in Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, had been suffering from kidney failure and used to come down to Cagayan de Oro for his dialysis treatment.
A source in Cagayan de Oro said he used to administer intravenous medication to Madlos until it stopped more than a year ago.
The source said he once accompanied the rebel leader to a hospital in Cagayan de Oro where blood samples were taken.
“Madlos did not alight from the vehicle. He had his blood sample taken right inside the vehicle by a sympathetic nurse,” the source narrated.
Maj. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division based here, said there was no doubt that Madlos enjoyed a network of doctors and nurses in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon who were either his friends or sympathizers.
He said Madlos graduated from the state-owned Central Mindanao University in Musuan, Bukidnon.
But CPP spokesman Marco Valbuena denied that Madlos had been frequenting this city for dialysis.
“If he regularly needed to have dialysis, he would not last long in the guerilla zone,” he said over Messenger. Valbuena pointed out that it was Brawner who said that Madlos had been in the guerilla area for long.
He said that Madlos remained healthy and strong and “even joined in guerrilla maneuvers in the face of intense military operations” in the last few months.
Valbuena admitted, though, that the rebel leader had to live with a damaged urinary bladder after he was denied treatment when he was imprisoned from 1987 to 1992. “But it was not life-threatening or debilitating,” he stressed.