Violations of international humanitarian law Bohol Massacre, AFP-PNP bombing and abduction cases

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The fascist war criminals in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), paramilitaries and the Philippine National Police (PNP), as well as its chief Ferdinand Marcos Jr, must be indicted and prosecuted for multiple violations of international humanitarian law and principles of civilized warfare during recent weeks.

Justice for the Bilar 5. Five Red fighters and Party cadres were massacred, not killed in an encounter in Bilar, Bohol on February 23. Domingo Compoc, Hannah Cesista, Parlito Historia, Marlon Omosura and Alberto Sancho were captured alive in the house they were using in Sitio Matin-ao 2, Barangay Campagao. The five were severely tortured before they were killed. A photograph showed Compoc being held by a soldier, indicating he was alive when captured. Witnesses said Compoc was hacked in the neck and abdomen. Compoc was in his 60s and suffered from arthritis.

Cesista and three others were forced to lie in the mud before being shot. Cesista was a lawyer who chose to serve the oppressed classes. Despite evidence and witness testimonies, the AFP and PNP insist that the five “fought back” when they were “served” with arrest warrants.

Earlier, the military abducted a resident of the area named “Berting” and his two minor children, including a 4-year-old in the same barangay. He was beaten to reveal the whereabouts of the Bilar 5. They were forced into a white van. They were sent home after a day.

In Negros Occidental, on February 21, the 79th IB killed farmer Jose Caramihan who was tending his farm in Sityo Mansulao, Barangay Pinapugasan, Escalante City. The military said he was killed in an “encounter.”

In Misamis Oriental, the 58th IB captured, tortured and killed Miguel Serino (Ka Bokir), an NPA-North Central Mindanao Region (NCMR) Red fighter, at the border of Barangay Calawag and Quezon in Balingasag on February 10. His remains showed he underwent severe torture.

Abduction. The police and military falsely claim that the abducted brother of Sorsogon peasant-leader Jose Marie Estiller “surrendered” on February 23. The military abducted him on February 20 in Santo Tomas, Batangas. He was accused of being the “second most wanted” in Bicol and charged with several criminal offenses.

Meanwhile, Anakbayan-Southern Mindanao reported last February 27 the abduction and disappearance by the military and police of Nelson Bautista Jr, an activist writer with a long record of service to the communities of Davao, and the arrest of his then companion Ademar Anciero Etol on January 25 at a house in Barangay Balingasan, Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay. Etol was charged with criminal offenses and is currently detained at the Siay Municipal Police Station. Meanwhile, neither the police nor the military admit that they have Bautista. He remains missing to this day.

Bombing. A series of aerial bombings and artillery shelling conducted by the AFP have been reported in Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Bukidnon in recent weeks. These have caused great fear and trauma to civilian communities. It also has severely affected the livelihood of residents. Their use of very powerful bombs against guerrilla camps of the people’s army also violates the principle of “proportionality”.

In Negros Occidental, on February 21 and 22, the military carried out a series of indiscriminate firing, strafing and bombing at the border of Escalante City and Toboso town. This forced the evacuation of 1,000 residents. Classes were suspended in seven barangays in Toboso.

In Iloilo, the AFP dropped 500-pound aerial bombs on barangays of Torocadan, Dongoc and Langca in San Joaquin town on February 28. This was followed by a series of helicopter strafing and artillery shelling. Three Red fighters were reported martyred in the bombing.

In Bukidnon, the AFP indiscriminately shelled the mountainous area bordering the towns of San Fernando, Quezon and Valencia City 13 times from 2 to 5 p.m. on February 23. The AFP also shelled the same area 13 times on February 21. The shelling is part of the combat operations with simultaneous bombings since December 2023.

Meanwhile, the 81st IB bombed and shelled the villages bordering Tagkawayan, Quezon and Del Gallego, Camarines Sur at dawn on March 4. The bombs dropped near communities and almost hit three copra workers.

Bohol Massacre, AFP-PNP bombing and abduction cases