Fausto family massacre–94th IB’s retaliation after NPA’s tactical offensive on June 13

This article is available in Hiligaynon

Edralin’s statements are humiliating and he still has the gall to face the media and blame someone else for the brutal act of the military troops that he leads. The people knows the dirty record of killings and the various forms of abuses perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), particularly the 303rd Brigade.

The Fausto family massacre was carried out by the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the AFP and elements of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) as reaction to the harassment operation against the CAFGU Detachment in Brgy. Hilamunan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental by a unit of Red fighters under the Mount Cansermon Command-New People’s Army South Central Negros (MCC-NPA) last June 13, 9:30 in the evening that resulted to several casualties on the side of the military troops within the camp. This was the reason behind their brutal retaliation on civilian farmers who they suspect as NPA supporters.

In truth, the 94th IB has been planning and preparing to butcher the Fausto family for a while now similar to the cold-blooded killing of other civilians. How can we say that it was premeditated?

Rolly Fausto was captured and then tortured several times in the very CAFGU camp in Hilamonan, his house was ransacked four times and he was threatened and forced to admit that he was a NPA member. Just last week, the MCC-NPA received complaints from residents concerned of their security because their names were announced over the radio and this included Rolly Fausto. Through a program of the army in a local radio station, commentator Johnrey Hilado often mentioned Rolly Fausto insinuating that he fed and supported the NPA. This was a form of red-tagging that put Rolly Fausto and others at risk.

A month ago, the Fausto family has been subjected to harassments and threats, and their home was ransacked by the 94th IB, mainly soldiers assigned to the Hilamonan and Mahalang detachments. A few days before the massacre, a unit of the MCC-NPA was notified by residents themselves that three suspicious persons were spying on the Fausto house, and one was identified as a military asset who is a rebel returnee.

The 303rd Brigades claim that Rolly Fausto was their asset which, according to them, was why the NPA killed him is a worn-out statement. How can one be a military asset when an individual was repeatedly threatened and tortured, and his house was ransacked just recently? Edralin’s claims are inconsistent with what actually occurred to the Fausto family.

Since the dead can no longer defend themselves, like the Fausto family and many more, Edralin and Almonte quickly wash their hands, deny accountability, and shamelessly pose as innocents in the massacre.

The people will be the judge. Due to the consecutive extrajudicial killings, such as the case of Crispin Tingal Jr and now the Fausto family massacre, Edralin and Almonte can no longer deceive the public even if they shed buckets of crocodile tears to get the sympathy of the very people who are victims of their atrocities.###

Fausto family massacre–94th IB’s retaliation after NPA’s tactical offensive on June 13