Three soldiers of the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were killed by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sityo Cupad, Barangay Macagahay, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental on the June 13th. The soldiers attempted to conduct a raid on the NPA camp on the area, but were faced with the guerrillas throwing grenades at them, resulting to the death of three of the soldiers. Later, while retreating, the same unit of the NPA encountered the 62nd Infantry Battalion again and attacked. The NPA – Central Negros reports that there was more casualties among the 62nd Infantry Battalion because of soldiers getting caught in crossfire of their own. There were no casualties of the NPA. In order to hide the failure of their military operation, the 62nd Infantry Battalion presented the peasants Benjie Ebarle and Roweno Anubong, who were killed by the AFP troops, as fallen NPA guerrillas.
Similarly on June 13th the NPA carried out a successful harassment operation against the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) camp in Barangay Hilamunan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental which resulted into multiple casualties in the camp. CAFGU is an irregular auxiliary force of the AFP, aimed to prevent the guerrillas from doing mass work in the villages.
As retaliation, the 94th Infantry Battalion and CAFGU massacred four members of the Fausto family, Rolly/Billy and Emilda, and their two children, Ben and Raben, aged 11 and 15, on June 14th. The AFP accused them of being NPA supporters. The Faustos were active in the Baklayan, Bito, Cabagal Farmers Association (BABICAFA), a local peasants’ and farm-workers’ organization. Rolly Fausto had been arrested and tortured multiple times in the CAFGU camp, and forced to make a confession of being part of the NPA. In May, Emilda was held at knife-point and interrogated in an attack to their home. The family home had been raided by the military four times and the name of Rolly Fausto had been announced in the local radio as a supporter of the NPA. With the news and outrage of the massacre spreading, the AFP first claimed the Faustos were killed as part of an “internal cleansing” of the NPA, and then claimed they were actually informants of the AFP and killed by the NPA.
The Communist Party of Philippines issued a statement denouncing the massacre and expressing their condolences to the rest of the Fausto family. They call upon local revolutionary forces to come forward and pinpoint those responsible to bring justice to the Faustos. They also urge those in the ranks of the AFP who cannot stomach the killing of their own people anymore to leave and repudiate the ideology taught to them in the military.