Philippines: Condemn the February 23 Bohol Massacre! Justice for the Bilar 5!

Featured image: Domingo Compoc (Ka Silong), is shown under the custody of a soldier of the 47th IB, shortly after he was arrested in Bilar, Bohol on February 23. He was later subjected to torture and executed by soldiers.

Hereby we publish an statement we have received.

Marco L. Valbuena, Chief Information Officer

Communist Party of the Philippines

February 24, 2024

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the US-Marcos fascist regime, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the massacre of five captured revolutionaries in Bilar, Bohol yesterday, and joins the demand for justice for Domingo Compoc, Hannah Cesista, Parlito Historia, Marlon Omosura and Alberto Sancho.

The five were all captured alive and taken into custody yesterday morning by the fascist criminal troops of the 47th Infantry Battalion and Bohol police in Sitio Matin-ao 2, Barangay Campagao, Bilar, Bohol. They were subjected to severe torture and consequently murdered in cold blood.

There is no truth to the lie being circulated by the police that the five were killed in an encounter. Local residents attest that no encounter took place that morning. What people witnessed was the brutality of the military and police combat troops, torturing and killing the five revolutionaries.

A picture surreptitiously taken shows Compoc, with arms apparently bound behind his back, under custody of a soldier of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) after being accosted by the military and police. This image is presently circulating among the people of Bohol and on social media.

Compoc, who was in his 60s, was suffering from arthritis and was in no position to fight. He was subjected to severe torture in front of a number of people in the village in the hope of striking fear among them. Based on facts initially gathered in the area, Ka Silong was hacked to death, suffering fatal wounds on his neck and abdomen.

Cesista, on the other hand, a young lawyer from Cebu, who chose to serve the peasant masses and their revolutionary movement in Bohol, was thrown to the ground by the soldiers and made to lie and crawl on the mud, before she was eventually shot to death.

The willful killing of Compoc, Casista, Historia, Omosura and Sancho after being captured and placed under the custody of the military and police consists of gross violations of international humanitarian law. The 47th IB and Bohol police, the leadership of the AFP and PNP, and Marcos himself, are liable for war crimes and must be prosecuted and punished for their nefarious deeds.

Further details are being gathered how the others were similarly tortured and killed. A post-mortem autopsy of the remains of the victims of the Bohol massacre conducted by independent pathologists will surely add more details to the initial facts bravely put forward by the community, and help unravel completely the gruesome crime committed by the military and police.

Initial details provided by local witnesses contradict the “findings” of the so-called “scene of the crime” unit of the Philippine National Police, who are in collusion with the police and military criminals in brazenly covering up the crime.

The Party calls on the Filipino people, peasant associations, workers unions, youth groups, lawyers, the media, church people, women and others to unite and stand with the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the Bohol Massacre in their demand for justice. The Party and the New People’s Army will vow to do all it can to punish the fascist and terrorist criminals.

The Bohol massacre is just the latest of the string of fascist crimes that are being perpetrated by the AFP and PNP in the course of its desperate campaign to put an end the Filipino people’s armed resistance. The 47th IB, in particular, is also responsible for the killing of Manuel “Loloy” Tinio on April 4, 2023 in Ubay, Bohol, and Arthur Jasper Lucenario on May 14, 2023 in San Miguel, Bohol.

In perpetrating these fascist crimes, the Marcos regime and the AFP is only succeeding in further inciting the Filipino people to take up arms and join the New People’s Army to fight for their rights and advance their cause for social justice. By employing state terrorism, the US-Marcos regime is showing why the people’s revolutionary armed resistance is just and necessary, and why it is the only option for the people, especially, the peasant masses in their struggle for genuine land reform.

The people and the majority of peasant masses of Bohol, in particular, are left with no option but to rise up in resistance and fight back with arms. In Bohol, land remains in the hands of a few big landlords, big bourgeois compradors and foreign big corporations. Majority of the peasants are tenants and oppressed suffering gross forms of exploitation and economic hardship and hunger. They are being dispossessed of their land by big oil palm plantations and eco-tourism projects.

The Communist Party of the Philippines and the revolutionary movement pays the highest tribute to Domingo Compoc, Hannah Cesista, Parlito Historia, Marlon Omosura and Alberto Sancho. They are heroes of the Filipino people who gave up all comforts to serve the downtrodden and oppressed masses. Their contributions to the Filipino people’s cause will never be forgotten.

Inspired by the heroism of Francisco Dagohoy, who led Bohol’s resistance for more than eight decades from 1744 to 1829 against Spanish colonial forces, the peasant masses of Bohol, together with the rest of the oppressed and exploited masses of the Filipino people, under the leadership of the Party, are determined to rise up and fight with arms, however long it takes, to advance the struggle for national democracy towards complete victory.

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