The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in condemning in the strongest terms possible the fascist troops of the 86th Infantry Battalion for carrying out the heinous murder of elderly couple Vicente and Rosario Valenzuela in Sitio Calatbagin, Barangay San Miguel, Echague, Isabela in the early morning hours of November 23.
Operating troops of the 86th IB’s Alpha Company under 2Lt. Bernardino opened fire on the Valenzuelas after accusing Vicente of being an NPA guerrilla fighter just because he was found with a bolo used for harvesting root crops. The Army soldiers ignored the appeal of relatives who were shouting that the Valenzuelas were unarmed civilians. A soldier was also overheard appealing to his officer and fellow soldiers to stop shooting at the couple because they were civilians.
Vicente, 60 and Rosario, 51, died immediately after being riddled with bullets from M16 rifles. Their bodies were taken by the 86th IB soldiers and brought to their camp in Soyung, Echague, Isabela. Officers of the 5th ID later circulated in the media the lie that the Valenzuelas were killed by the NPA during an encounter with Philippine Army soldiers in the area. The murdered couple’s relatives, however, also trooped to a radio station to belie the military’s claims.
“The CPP condemns this terrible fascist crime perpetrated by the armed troops of the 86th IB and holds the officers of the 5th ID fully responsible for the killing of the elderly Valenzuela couple,” said the CPP. “The CPP calls on the people of Echague to rise up and demand justice for the Valenzuelas. The CPP further calls on units of the New People’s Army in the area to punish the perpetrators of this heinous war crime.”
“The CPP holds the Aquino regime, its commander-in-chief and its military and security officials ultimately responsible for these murders, as well as the wave of massacres, killings, abductions, illegal detention and other grave violations of human rights across the country,” added the CPP.
“This latest war crime comes hard on the heels of the massacre by the 27th IB of the Capeon family last October 18 in Davao del Sur and the successive killings by the 2nd IB of civilian Dante Osma and village councilor Ely Oguis last November 1 and 11 in Albay. Oguis was decapitated by the soldiers and his head buried in the mud,” pointed out the CPP.
“The armed agents of the Aquino regime are becoming increasingly brutal in carrying out their Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression,” said the CPP. “Claims by Aquino and his military officials of respecting human rights have been proven to be empty rhetoric and serve only as a thin veil to conceal the bloody trail of abuses and terror perpetrated by the AFP and other armed agencies of the reactionary state.”