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Condemn the Bohol massacre by AFP! Long live the Bilar five!

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[Based upon the statement by FFPS member organization Bandila (Baltimore, US).]

On February 23rd, 2024 the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), operating under the fascist US backed Marcos regime, captured, tortured and executed five revolutionaries in Bilar, Bohol. As Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle (FFPS) we condemn this massacre in the strongest of terms and call upon the international community to join the Filipino people in demanding justice for Domingo Compoc, Hannah Cesista, Parlito Historia, Marlon Omosura and Alberto Sancho. 

All five were captured alive by reactionary troops of the 47th Infantry Battalion and Bohol

police in Sitio Matin-ao 2, Barangay Campagao, Bilar, Bohol and taken into custody where they were forced to endure severe torture before being murdered in cold blood.

Despite the lie being peddled by the police that the five were killed during an encounter (also referred to as a clash) between the AFP/PNP and the New People’s Army (NPA), locals who were forced to watch the event take place clearly state that there was no encounter. Those who witnessed this heinous act share that what they saw was the military and police torturing and subsequently killing the five revolutionaries.

A picture, currently circulating locally and online, that was secretly taken clearly shows one of the five (Domingo Compoc), with his arms apparently bound behind his back, under custody of a soldier of the AFP after being harassed by the military and police. Compoc was in his 60’s with severe arthritis, he was tortured in front of the village as a means of scaring the people and the nature of his murder is gruesome.

Hannah Cesista, 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 eventually being shot to death. Details of the other murders are still being investigated but it remains clear that the events that took place prior to their deaths were similar in nature.

Local residents have said that prior to the massacre three civilians, a father named Berting and his two minor children (one of whom is four years old), were abducted by the AFP and PNP. They were shaken down to reveal the location of Compoc. As of now their location is still unknown.

There was also a report of one PNP officer being killed, which has been confirmed to be friendly fire after a skirmish between AFP and PNP units.

These war crimes are only going to be swept under the rug by the US-Marcos regime, which is evident seeing as local witnesses are already contradicting the “findings” of the state investigation. Marcos continues to lengthen the long list of war crimes and violations of International Humanitarian Law that looms over his head as the US continues their support for the “counter-insurgency” violence. 

The actions of Marcos’ AFP and the PNP, under the favor and direction of the US, should leave no doubt as to why so many Filipinos make the choice to take up arms against an oppressive regime. We must uphold the right to self-determination of the Filipino people and their right to wage a revolutionary war to attain their democratic and social rights in the face of such repressive conditions.

We call upon all progressive people of the world to oppose US-backed AFP terrorism, to defend the Filipino people and to defend the NPA bases as seeds of a genuine people’s government currently being built in the Philippine countryside. 

Long live the Bilar 5!
Long live the martyrs of the Philippine Revolution!
Surface Berting and his two children!
End US-Marcos state terrorism in the Philippines!
Support the revolutionaries and defend the bases of the people’s army!