Sotero Llamas was proud of the price on his head. Ten thousand dollars. This made him the most wanted man in the Bicol region. The rumour was that Sotero, or Teroy, or Nognog, was the NPA Commander of Southern Luzon. It was as a spokesman for the NPA that he was due, one Saturday late in 1986, to go down from the hills into the town of Legaspi, to help set up the regional ceasefire committee.

On the whole Teroy thought that the military would respect the ceasefire, but he was worried about Colonel Abadilla, a notorious killer and inquisitor of the left, who had been sent down to Bicol after his involvement in the Manila hotel coup (the first of the military attempts to get rid of Cory Aquino). Abadilla just might use the occasion to bump him off.

So Teroy asked me if I would mind accompanying him in the first car of the motorcade. ‘If they see you there,’ he said, ‘that would make our precautions more ironclad.’


An Escape from Kampala
America's Secret War