22 August 2005
We of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) convey our heartfelt condolences over the sudden death of former Army Capt. Rene Jarque to his parents General Raymundo Jarque and Zenia, his beloved widow Grace and their children Ryan Joshua, Marla Jessica and Hannah Therese, his siblings and other relatives and many friends. We are deeply saddened by the loss of a good friend who was ever mindful of the interest and welfare of the people.
We had the opportunity to meet and talk to Rene in the Netherlands on two occasions. Once, in 1997 when he joined his parents, Ray, and Zenia who were here for the peace negotiations where Ray served as consultant for military affairs of the NDFP negotiating panel. The second was in 2004, when he visited us while on a trip to Europe, to share views and insights on the peace negotiations in Aceh where he was based and on the situation in the Philippines.
But even only on these two rare occasions, we already felt a certain closeness towards Rene. In lively discussions with us, his love of country and his intelligence were very striking. We shared a common desire and vision of building a country where hard-working people can live a life of dignity and relative prosperity. He became increasingly friendly to and cooperative with patriotic and progressive forces in the motherland.
He was very much dismayed at the corruption he saw in high places both in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and in the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). He became openly critical of the AFP and called for reforms. He said, “I believe in performance and accountability. I believe in competence and moral courage. I believe in honesty and hard work. I believe in transparency and candor. I have found these rare in the Armed Forces and I would like to seek them somewhere else.”
Like his father, he fell victim to the system he tried to serve with honesty and honor. Ultimately, he could not stay any longer in the AFP. He declared, “As a young officer, I used the power of the pen to question things that were not right in the Armed Forces of the Philippines–incompetence, corruption, lack of strategic direction, and unprofessionalism. My writings were a voice in the wilderness, but the criticisms earned me a reputation as a rebel officer–too honest and too frank for my own good. I really thought reforms could be achieved through intellectual honesty and awareness.”
Until his death, he never lost hope or his zeal for fighting for reforms. He demanded reforms in the AFP and in the society at large. He was always open to working with the legal patriotic and progressive forces as well as with the NDFP. Whenever he could, he volunteered advise to the NDFP for the benefit of the Filipino people.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines salutes Capt. Rene Jarque, as a patriotic officer and man of the highest integrity. Especially at this particular time in our history, his love of country and service to the people should shine like a bright star. We hope that more officers and personnel of the AFP emulate Rene Jarque’s example of exposing what is wrong in the AFP and in the ruling system and pointing out what needs to be done in the interest of the people.
NDFP Negotiating Panel: Consultants and Advisers:
Luis G. Jalandoni Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Julieta de Lima-Sison UN Judge Romeo T. Capulong
Fidel V. Agcaoili Vicente Ladlad
Coni K. Ledesma Danilo Borjal
Negotiating Panel Secretariat:
Ruth de Leon
Maria Lourdes Villanueva