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Priest-turned-rebel leader praised

MANILA (UCAN): A former priest, Luis Jalandoni, has been praised by the National Democratic Front of The Philippines for the role he played as a key peace negotiator between the Communist Party and the government in Mindanao.

It cited his inspiring record of struggle, sacrifice and contribution to the revolutionary struggle during the 45 years that he was involved in the push.

Jalandoni retired last year as chief peace negotiator of the Front after being the chairperson of the panel in peace talks with the government since 1989.

In 1972, Jalandoni helped organise the underground Christians for National Liberation while he was still a priest serving in the central region of Negros.

In a statement, the National Democratic Front said the former priest acted as one of the pillars of the Communist movement and helped unite progressive and revolutionary Catholic and Protestant Church people.

Mariano Orosa, the chairperson of the executive committee of the Front, said Jalandoni’s dedication to the revolution led him to forsake a birthright of landed privilege.

The then-Father Jalandoni sold a vast area of farmland, which he inherited from his family in the 1960s, and distributed it to landless farmers.

In 1973, he was arrested with a former sister, Coni Ledesma, who later became his wife.

The late Jaime Cardinal Sin, from Manila, formalised the wedding after he received a dispensation from the Vatican.

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