CPSO strongly condemns the brutal massacre of the Fausto family, which occurred on June 14th in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City. After relentlessly red-tagging and harassing the Fausto family, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) broke into the family’s home and murdered spouses Rolly/Billy and Emilda, along with their two children, aged 15 and 11.
The Fausto family were sugar workers and part of the Baclayan, Bito, Cabagal Farmers and Farmworkers Association (BABICAFA). They had faced repeated harassment from soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB), who accused them of supporting the New People’s Army (NPA). Prior to their murder, the family had been subjected to physical and psychological torture, manipulation, and unlawful searches. The 94th IB, under the command of Colonel Van Donald Almonte and Colonel Orlando Edralin, has a long history of human rights violations.
Notable figures such as San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza mourned the deaths and criticized the escalating militarization under the current administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., particularly the whole-of-nation approach and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). This situation is exacerbated by Memorandum Order 32 which has put the island under de facto martial rule, giving cover to state forces committing killing sprees, and terrorizing peasants and their communities, under the pretext of implementing the Marcos Jr. administration’s counter-insurgency policies. At least 21 peasants have already been murdered by the state since Marcos Jr. came to power.
Coni Ledesma, head of NDFP-SPOC, denounced the brutal massacre as a violation of children’s rights and international humanitarian law. Ledesma criticized the AFP for blaming the NPA and highlighted the Fausto family’s prior harassment and red-tagging by the military, which included but was not limited to the slaughter of the family’s livestock and ransacking of their property. Ledasma noted that “Pinning the blame on the NPA is an old and tired tactic the AFP uses to escape accountability for its crimes against the people”.
CPSO joins revolutionary forces, human rights groups, and the Filipino people in demanding justice for the Fausto family and seeks to hold the perpetrators accountable for their heinous crimes.
Join us in supporting the independent investigation by sending an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org with the note “Fausto Family”. Your donation will go to lawyers, church workers, and advocates supporting an inquiry and fighting to uphold the rights of the victims.