Maximum outrage against the AFP for the Fausto family massacre in Negros
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all revolutionary forces join the Filipino people in expressing maximum outrage against the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) over the massacre of the Fausto family last June 14 in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City. The massacre, carried out by armed troops under the 94th IB, constitutes grave war crimes.
According to local reports, bloodthirsty fascist soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion barged into the hut of the Fausto family sometime Wednesday night and carried out the killings in cold blood. Killed were spouses Rolly/Billy (52) and Emilda (51), and their two children, Ben (15) and Raben (11). Emilda and her children were apparently killed in their sleep, while Rolly was dragged to a nearby sugarcane field where he was killed.
We hold Colonel Van Donald Almonte, commander of the 94th IB, and Col. Orlando Edralin, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, which leads operations of the 94th IB, responsible for the massacre of the Fausto family. Before they could even open their mouth to cover-up for the crimes of his men, reports of the massacre were already making the rounds of news outlets and social media. Faced with damning evidence of their crime, they issued statements turning facts on its head, filled with a tangled web of lies to make wild accusations against the New People’s Army (NPA).
At first, the AFP issued statements claiming that the Fausto family were killed as part of “internal cleansing” of the NPA, but later concocted the grand fairy tale that the Faustos were spies of the AFP, and that they were “red-tagged” as part of their “cover” (unwittingly admitting that the AFP does carry out “red tagging” against activists).
In behalf of all revolutionary forces, we extend our sympathies to the Fausto family, especially the other Fausto children, and link arms with them in their demand for justice and for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be tried and punished.
The Faustos were active members of the Baklayan, Bito, Cabagal Farmers Association (BABICAFA), a locally registered organization representing the interests of peasants and farm-workers in the said barangay. Before their murder, the Faustos were repeatedly harassed by soldiers of the 94th IB who accuse them of being supporters of the New People’s Army.
Just last May, soldiers attacked the Faustos in their own home, held a knife against Emilda as she was subjected to interrogation. At the same time, Billy was tortured to make him to admit to being an NPA supporter, then later forced him to guide soldiers in their operations. The soldiers were demanding that the Faustos cooperate with the AFP and serve as spies against the NPA. Their killing aims to send a clear message for others to bow to the will of the military or suffer the same bloody fate.
This is not the first war crime perpetrated by military units under the command of General Edralin, and other AFP brigades. In his rush to get his promotion and pocket millions of pesos in counterinsurgency funds, he is ordering foot soldiers of the AFP to commit crimes targeting civilians, including children.
The 94th IB, in particular, which was established in 2018 and assigned in Negros since, is responsible for at least 150 cases of human rights violations, in their drive to sow fear and terror among the peasant masses. At various times, more than 18,000 have been forced to flee their homes in Moises Padilla, Isabela, Binalbagan, Himamaylan City and Kabankalan City, due to the brutal operations of the said military battalion.
We call on the AFP’s rank-and-file, specifically those under the 94th IB, who could no longer stomach the bloody crimes they are being made to commit against the Filipino people to leave the AFP and repudiate the lies and fascist ideology that has been ingrained into their minds. It is not surprising that many of them are traumatized and dehumanized by these crimes and now suffer from different forms of mental illnesses.
The Party welcomes all efforts of various sectors and organizations to investigate and expose the AFP massacre of the Fausto family. At the same time, the Party calls on all local revolutionary forces, including units of the New People’s Army, to pinpoint the officers and men of the 94th IB who took direct part in the crime, and carry out all effort to subject them to trial and punishment, by way of responding to the clamor for justice of the Filipino people.
The massacre of the Fausto family is the 5th massacre perpetrated by the reactionary state armed forces under the Marcos illegitimate and fascist regime, in less than one year in power. More than 100 civilians and people protected under international humanitarian law have been killed since Marcos assumed power. The fascist regime is increasingly desperate to silence the people and suppress their various forms of resistance, to allow foreign big capitalists and their local cohorts to take over the people’s land and the country’s wealth, and give the Marcoses free rein to plunder the public coffers.
The Filipino people will not be cowed by the incessant fascist attacks of Marcos’ armed minions. More and more, they are being pushed to strengthen their organizations, rise to their feet and raise their fists to demand justice for all the crimes perpetrated by the AFP and all other armed agents of the Marcos regime.