All democrats should unequivocally condemn in the strongest terms the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the brutal torture and cowardly killing of CPP leaders Benito Tiamzon (and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon), together with eight other revolutionaries after they were captured in Samar province on August 21, 2022.
The murder of the Tiamzons follows the pattern of the wilful killings perpetrated by the AFP against captured revolutionaries. The same merciless and shameful methods were used in the killing of Jorge Madlos , Menardo Villanueva Antonio Cabantan, Julius Giron and a number of others.
All democrats should demand justice for the August 21 massacre of the Tiamzons.Their capture; torture and killing were directed by the top officers of the AFP. The CPP holds the following directly responsible for the dastardly crime:Ferdinand Marcos Jr, commander-in-chief of the AFP, Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bacarro, then chief-of-staff of the AFP, Lt. Gen. Edgardo de Leon, then head of the JTF-Storm and the 8th Infantry Division, and Brig. Gen. Marceliano Teofilo, head of the Intelligence Service ng.
Both Benito and Wilma were among the creatures of that revolutionary period, with their induction as Communist cadres spanning from the late 60s to early 70s. They worked among the sector of the youth and made a transition to urban work among workers and then the peasant class. On every occasion, the couple proved themselves most competent leaders for the people by methodically utilizing revolutionary instruments in their hand.In Eastern Samar during the late 70s, they applied social investigation and class analysis to imbibe a most comprehensive understanding of the anti-feudal struggle of the peasants. In Central Luzon, they integrated armed struggle to mass campaign focusing on the basic alliance of peasant and working classes to contribute to the eventual downfall of the dictator Marcos.
The lives, struggles and methods of work and leadership of comrades Benito and Wilma with unflinching spirit manifested the principles of the NDFP. The coalition served as framework for the establishment and development of its allied organizations according to the revolutionary class line. Benito and Wilma left no stone unturned to implement these principles by sharpening the leadership of the working class and by bridging the basic alliance between farmers and labourers. Their revolutionary work was an illustration of the correctness of the principles guiding the national democratic revolution.
Merciless execution of Murder and fabricated story
The leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines ae directly responsible for their deaths. Bongbong Marcos as the AFP commander-in-chief, then chief-of-staff Lt.Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, Joint Task Force Storm’s Gen. Edgardo De Leon and Intelligence Service’ Brig.Gen. Marceliano Teofilo. are equally responsible for shedding blood. Enabled by the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident, a unit trained and provisioned by the US Army, these murderers will forever have on their hands the blood of beloved revolutionary martyrs. The CPDF cannot stress enough the gravity of their crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement. The North will remember and the North will be there on the day of reckoning
At the time of their murder, Ka Benito, 71, was the Chairman of the CPP Executive Committee, while Ka Wilma, 70, was the CPP’s Secretary General. They were traveling with Ka Divino (Joel Arceo), a sub-regional secretary in Eastern Visayas, along with Ka Yen, Ka Jaja, Ka Matt, Ka Ash, Ka Delfin, Ka Lupe, Ka Butig (Catbalogan 10), who all belonged to the guerrilla force of the central headquarters.
The Tiamzons were travelling on two separate vans along the national highway eastwards towards Catbalogan City. They were flagged down between 12:00 noon and 1:00 in the afternoon, after which all communications with the group were lost. They were unarmed.
It took several weeks to establish the accuracy of the reports which the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) released around that time. It also had to conduct months of investigation to piece together the details of the capture and subsequent massacre of the Tiamzons.
The Tiamzons suffered severe beating in the hands of their captors. Internal reports cited witnesses who witnessed how the faces and bodies of the victims were smashed, apparently beaten with hard objects.
The CPP PolitBureau disputed the report of the AFP suggesting that the Tiamzons were killed after their supposed boat exploded 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—during the early morning hours of August 22, 2022 off the coast of Catbalogan.
The alleged mid-sea firefight and explosion were all a fabricated drama hatched by the AFP and its US military advisers, to camouflage evidence of their fascist crime. In truth, the already lifeless bodies of the Tiamzons and their group were dumped on a motorboat filled with explosives, and tugged from Catbalogan midway towards Taranganan Island before it was detonated. Only eight bodies were subsequently retrieved by the military.
Harsh Thakor is freelance journalist who has extensively studied national Liberation Movements .Thanks Information from NDFP bureau.and Marco Valbuena .