The 'brutal torture and cowardly killing' of Benito Taimzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon was condemned by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in a statement issued on 20 April 2023.
Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, together with eight other revolutionaries who belonged to the guerrilla force of the central headquarters of the CPP were captured in Samar province on 21 August 2022.
The ten, who were unarmed, were traveling on two separate vans along the national highway towards Catbalogan City. They were flagged down between 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. All communications with the group were lost afterwards.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) later released a report that in the early hours of 22 August 2022, the Tiamzons were killed after their supposed boat exploded off the coast of Catbalogan, while engaging in a firefight with forces of the Joint Task Force Storm, the 8th Infantry Division and the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trident, a unit trained and commanded by the US military.
The lifeless bodies of the Tiamzons and their eight companions were dumped on a motorboat filled with explosives and and tugged from Catbalogan midway towards Taranganan island before it was detonated. Only eight bodies were subsequently retrieved by the military.
It took months of investigations for the Central Committee to find out the truth of how the Tiamzons and their companions were killed. Benito Tiamzon was the Chairman of the CPP Executive Committee and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon was the Secretary General of the CPP.
On 20 April, Ang Bayan the official publication of the CPP, published a special issue in which it quoted the Central Committe declaring “Ka Benito Tiamzon and Ka Wilma Austria as martyrs and true heroes of the Filipino people.”
“They dedicated their entire lives to serving the oppressed and exploited masses and gave all their body and minds to advancing the aspirations for national freedom and democracy, socialism and communism.”
On 19 April 2023, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Consultant Rogelio Posadas (Ka Cocoy) and his three companions, Lyngrace Marturillas, Renel delos Santos and Renal Mialen. was arrested along the Isabela-Hinigaran Road in Negros province.
On April 17,2023, Eric Jun Casilao, an alleged member of the New People’s Army, was extradited to the Philippines after being arrested in Malaysia. He is a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on socio-economic reforms. His family has demanded that he be allowed to be visited and to meet his lawyers in person.
“This is totally unacceptable and is not only in violation of basic human rights and international humanitarian law but is shamelessly inhuman,” De Lima said. “Only real terrorists parade their captives in public for humiliation and ignominy that is a throwback to the dark ages of uncivil conduct,” De Lima ended.