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Press Statement

10 February 2001



By Jose Maria Sison

NDFP Chief Political Consultant


It is good that Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal has spoken as chief information officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to deny categorically any CPP involvement in the killing of Felimon "Popoy" Lagman and to declare that there had been no urgent and strong reason for the CPP to undertake severe punitive action against him.

Indeed, the New Peopleís Army has more important things to do than shoot down someone who had just participated in the broad united front to topple Estrada. The legal progressive forces criticized his "resign all" slogan but let him be when he went along with the focus on Estrada.

For the benefit of serious investigators, I wish to point out a probable connection between the ongoing assassination plot against me and the killing of Popoy Lagman.

Since the exposure of said assassination plot by Col. Reynaldo Berroya and then by me, the plotters according to reliable sources of the NDFP have been extremely upset and angry about the leak of information from inside or from the periphery of the circle of plotters and operatives.

It is highly probable that the assassination plotters saw Popoy Lagman as the leak. He had nothing to do with the assassination plot as an active conspirator because he could not be in the same project with his bitter enemies, Nilo de la Cruz and Arturo Tabara. But he was in a position to know about it in one or two ways, such as the following:

  1. Romulo "Rolly" Kintanar, the chief project officer in the assassination plot against me, had close personal relations with Popoy Lagman and was known to have boasted to him about the assassination plot. The second wife of Popoy is the sister of Edgar Jopson and Kintanarís second wife is the widow of Jopson.
  2. An ISAFP intelligence officer consulted with Popoy Lagman about the assassination plot against me, even as the ISAFP handled Lagman separately from the Nilo de la Cruz and Arturo Tabara tandem of the RPA-ABB.

To make matters worse for Lagman in the eyes of the assassination plotters, he was seen conversing recently with a senior intelligence officer who has long been regarded by Gen. Panfilo Lacson as one of his worst enemies.

As action man of former president Joseph Estrada, Gen. Lacson had overall supervision over the assassination plot against me, with General Yarcia as direct handler and Romulo "Rolly" Kintanar, Arturo Tabara and Nilo de la Cruz of RPA-ABB as tactical planners.

The killing of Lagman is probably a punitive action of the RPA-ABB against a suspected leak in the assassination plot against me as well as a component of a larger scheme of pro-Estrada groups to sow bloody intrigue and destabilize the new administration.

It is not at all surprising that, according to reports, the cartographs in the hands of investigators resemble suspects in previous hit jobs of the RPA-ABB, which is notorious for its close connections with Estrada, Gen Panfilo Lacson and Eduardo Cojuangco.

The RPA-ABB is a criminal gang controlled by Estrada through Gen. Lacson and acts as the private army of Eduardo Cojuangco in his haciendas in Pontevedra and Benedicto, Negros Occidental.

Before linking up with the RPA, the ABB was previously under the control of Lagman. But the ABB separated from him when the ABB head Nilo de la Cruz quarreled bitterly with him over the division of the payoff of 250 million pesos given by Amari in exchange for the eviction of urban poor families.

The RPA-ABB has continuing fierce disputes with the Popoy Lagman group over labor racketeering in Metro Manila. Nilo de la Cruz is posing as a labor leader in Manila while openly presenting himself as head of the ABB. #

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