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CPP confirms death of Tiamzons

Claims US ‘military advisers’ operating in PH; 'death sentence' against PBBM, other officials?

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AFTER more than eight months of silence, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Thursday, April 20, 2023, confirmed the deaths of its chairman, Benito Tiamzon and his wife, Wilma, CPP secretary general, accusing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for their “brutal torture and cowardly killing” to include their 10 security escorts in an operation in Samar that it claimed was directed by ‘US military advisers.’

According to the statement released by the CPP thru its website, ‘Philippine Revolution Web Central’ (PRWC), quoting information gathered by the CPP Central Committee, the Tiamzons “suffered severe beating in the hands of their captors. Internal reports cited witnesses who saw 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 claimed mid-sea firefight and explosion were all a drama hatched by the AFP and its US military advisers, to hide all evidence of the ignominy 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,” the CPP said.

It also averred that contrary to the AFP’s version that the Tiamzons and their followers were killed in a gunbattle off the coast of Catbalogan in the course of which their boats suddenly “exploded,” they were apprehended around noon a day earlier, August 21, 2022, at a military checkpoint while on board two vans on their way to Catbalogan, “after which all communications with the group were lost.” It further claimed the group was “unarmed” at the time.

The statement added it took the CPP “several weeks” to establish the veracity of the reports the AFP released related to the incident, adding it also took them “months of investigation to piece together the details of the capture and subsequent massacre of the Tiamzons.”

However, the CPP did not explain why it is only now that it is confirming their deaths.

At the time of their deaths, the CPP acknowledged the couple occupy the party’s two highest positions with Benito, 71, as chair of the CPP Executive Committee (Execom) while Wilma, 70, was the CPP secretary general.

As chairman, Benito was also the head of the Central Committee, Political Bureau and the Military Commission that oversees the National Operations Command of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Death sentence against PBBM, other officials?

The CPP also said it would bring President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., AFP officials and the unnamed American military advisers for indictment “in all relevant courts,” a euphemism for putting out a hit contract on them thru the NPA.

“The CPP demands justice for the Tiamzons and the Catbalogan 10, and calls for their indictment in all relevant courts,” it said, specifically naming the following as “directly responsible” for the Tiamzons’ death, calling it as a “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 AFP, as well as the US military advisers behind the Task Force Trident.

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