Central Visayas groups pay tribute to Bilar 5

This article is available in Pilipino

Central Visayas youth and progressive organizations gathered at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Cebu Ampitheater last March 3 to pay tribute and honor the Bilar 5, the five Red fighters who were massacred by state forces after their capture on February 23 in Bilar, Bohol.

The groups also called for justice for the victims and accountability for soldiers and police who violated international humanitarian law. Among the Bilar 5 was young lawyer Hannah Cesista, who graduated from the University of the Philippines-Cebu before studying law at the University of San Carlos.

The tribute night was organized by the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL)-Cebu, Karapatan-Central Visayas, and the UP Cebu University Student Council. The night was filled with testimonials, tributes and recognition.

Cesista’s co-workers, professors, fellow activists and former classmates attended the tribute to share their memories of the martyred fighter. They expressed how Cesista gave up her life of comfort, remained humble and determined in her support of and solidarity with the poor. This is also the reason why she chose the path of armed struggle and joined the New People’s Army (NPA).

Meanwhile, UP Cebu youth launched a candle light protest on February 29. More than 60 UP youth-students attended the protest. The activity was organized by the UP Cebu University Student Council.

The groups also demanded for an independent investigation to deepen the details surrounding the massacre and pinpoint the main parties involved in the heinous war crimes.

AB: Central Visayas groups pay tribute to Bilar 5