Volume V, Number 12 - July 01, 2023

Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s fascist regime unleashed extreme brutality in its first year in power. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and paramilitary groups and other state agents intensified their onslaughta against those opposing the illegitimate US-Marcos regime. Widespread state terrorism is further incited by officials of the (sic) National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict  (NTF-Elcac), including Vice Pres. Sara Duterte.

The regime persecutes the people not only in the cities but especially in the countryside. It wantonly violates with impunity international humanitarian law, rules of war and other international declarations which safeguard civilians and non-combatants in the conduct of  armed conflict.

In fact, during the first year in power of Marcos Jr, there have been a total of 97 victims of extra-judicial killings perpetrated by state armed elements or an average of two people killed in a week.

Of those killed, 53 are farmers and one is a member of a national minority group. Six of the victims were minors, the youngest of whom is a 9-year-old child. Even a five-month pregnant woman was not spared from the fascist attacks after being killed in a case of indiscriminate firing by soldiers. In total, 13 women were killed by the soldiers and police.

Forty-seven were killed while in military custody. They are victims of abduction or illegal arrests, suffered physical and psychological torture before being murdered. Eight of the victims were killed in indiscriminate firing of weapons by the military.

There were 62 incidents of political killings in total, five of which are cases of massacres and a case of frustrated killings. The bloodiest month was November 2022 with 16 killed by state forces. The month with highest number of incidents is May 2023 during which 15 were killed by military and police forces in 12 incidents.

Many of these cases involve the AFP releasing fake news of encounters or staging false encounters to cover-up their war crimes.

The latest in this string of killings is the massacre of the Faustos. Soldiers of the 94th IB killed members the family, including two children, on the night of 14 June in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City. Soldiers fired at Emelda Fausto, 51, and her two children, Raben Fausto, 12, and Ben Fausto, 15, in their sleep. Rolly Fausto, 55, the family patriarch, was found dead outside their hut.

Article 32 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions prohibits any act which causes physical suffering or extermination of protected persons. It states “…this prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishment, mutilation…but also to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents.”

The Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict of the United Nations General Assembly on December 14, 1974, specifically considers war crimes “all forms of repression and cruel and inhuman treatment of women and children, including imprisonment, torture, shooting, mass arrests, collective punishment, destruction of dwellings and forcible eviction, committed by belligerents in the course of military operations (Number 5).”