47th IB is long-time band of mercenaries in Barangay Camansi
That the 47th Infantry Battalion (IB), under the Philippine Army’s 302nd Brigade, with the 303rd Brigade’s “hors de combat slayer” 94th IB wreaked havoc in their community on the first few hours after midnight of November 30 is not novelty for the residents of Barangay Camansi, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
The murders of NDF consultant Ericson Acosta and peasant organizer Joseph Jimenez, and the disappearance of Ronald Francisco, his wife and their children (a boy and two girls), only adds blood to the brimming list of crimes of the 47th IB. It is, in fact, a long-time fascist band of mercenaries of the Solas, a notorious despotic landlord family in southern Negros Occidental.
Peasant families fighting to claim their land for decades in Hacienda Sta. Isabel against the land grabbing operation of the Sola family are all too familiar with the fascist ways of 47th IB mercenaries together with the PNP Regional Public Safety Maneuver Platoon and the RPA-ABB in 2010-2015. Under the payroll of Pablito and John Paul Sola, the 47th IB was complicit in heinous crimes against the people of Barangay Camansi and neighboring Barangay Tampalon such as multiple arson, multiple murder, harassments, grave threats, damage to crops and slaughter of livestock.
Even the people of Panay Island are victims of this criminal troop of the Philippine Army. To recall, the 3rd ID was forced to swap the 47th IB and 61st IB to evade the demands of the people of Panay and Negros for accountability for brutal crimes these Philippine Army units have perpetrated. While in Panay, the 47th IB murdered civilians suspected as NPA members including a pregnant woman, organized crimes such as carabao thievery and indiscriminately bombed Sitio Badas, Barangay Tacayan, Tapaz, Capiz using 105 howitzer canons back in 2009. At the same time, the 61st IB was exposed for the execution of Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) member Benjie Bayles and torture to death of Moreto Arcademia in Negros.
The bloody criminal record of the 47th IB and the entire Philippine Army in the service of big compradors and landlords has left a mark in Negros Island, particularly in the hearts and minds of the Negrosanons. The revolutionary armed struggle in Negros enjoys the infinite support of the Negros masses precisely because it is the expression of their resistance to oppression and exploitation by the ruling class and its coercive apparatus.
This time, truth spinners in the 3rd ID may try to troubleshoot their debacle in Barangay Camansi, but there is no sugarcoating the bitter struggle for social justice and national liberation.