House urged to probe massacre of allegedly red-tagged family in Negros Occidental

House urged to probe massacre of allegedly red-tagged family in Negros Occidental
Himamaylan Component City Police Station personnel visited the bereaved Fausto family and provided financial cash assistance, June 17, 2023
Released / Nocppo Himamaylan Ccps

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker has called on the House of Representatives to probe the recent massacre of a family of four in Negros Occidental who were slain by soldiers after allegedly being red-tagged.

The family, which includes two minors aged 15 and 11, were found dead inside their home in Sitio Cangkiling, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental on June 14. 

Filed by Makabayan lawmakers, House Resolution 1091 urges the House through the human rights committee to investigate in aid of legislation the killing of the Fausto family. 

Husband and wife Roly and Emelda Fausto were sugar workers and active members of organizations Iglesia Filipina Independiente and Baklayan, Bito, Cabagal Farmers Association.

The Commission on Human Rights on Sunday said that it has launched an investigation into the incident and pointed out allegations that the killing could be “insurgency-related allegedly linked to the New People’s Army.”

“But there is also an allegation linking it to the Philippine Army. All possible angles will be pursued in the course of CHR’s independent investigation,” the CHR said.

Prior to the death of the Fausto family, they were interrogated by soldiers and made to confess being a member of the New People's Army, according to the background details included in the House resolution.

The resolution also cited a pattern of threats and killings brought about by the implementation of Memorandum Order No. 32 in 2018, which caused several forms of “harassment and intimidation, and the destruction of livelihoods in Negros and other parts of the Philippines.”

Peasant organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas has claimed that there are witnesses that saw members of the Philippine Army "ransack" the Fausto family's hut on the day of their death.

The AFP and the 303rd Infantry Brigade had denied any hand in the killings and extended their condolences to the victim's relatives. They likewise promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. —Cristina Chi with reports by James Relativo

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