ILOILO CITY – The wife of Cpl. Frederick Villasis, who was on non-combat duty during a community support mission when brutally killed by New People's Army (NPA) terrorists in Barangay Lahug in Tapaz, Capiz, has demanded justice for his death on behalf of their two children.
“Nagapangayo ako bulig nga mahatagan sang hustisya ang gin obra sa iya. Pwerte gid ka brutal. Sakit-sakit gid ya ang natabo sa iya. (I am asking for help so justice would be served. It was too brutal. What happened to him was very painful),” Shella Villasis told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) over the phone on Saturday.
Cpl. Villasis of the 12th Infantry Battalion (12IB) was the leader of the Philippine Army's (PA) left-behind force when the Community Support Program (CSP) in Barangay Lahug ended in March.
The CSP is the Army's people-centered program to bring peace and development to conflict-affected barangays. It is an initiative to bring the government closer to the people through the immediate delivery of basic services.
While on his way to the town’s municipal hall with two other village officials to follow up on development projects for the barangay on August 11, the soldier was snatched by a group of NPA rebels while his companions were set free.
He was later fatally shot three times with his hands tied behind his back.
“Waay gid tinyo kaluuy insa ginpatay gid ninyo asawa ko. Waay gid kamo ka sayod nga may darwa pa tamon ka unga, mga gagmay pa (You showed no mercy in killing my husband. You have no idea that we have two children who are still small),” Shella said, directing her grief to the NPA terrorist group.
She described the 33-year-old Villasis, who entered the military in 2012, as dedicated to his work. He was also a caring husband and a loving father to their two children, a girl who is turning nine years old next month and a three-year-old son.
She said she has no idea how to explain to their children that their father is dead, especially to their youngest, who is a Daddy’s boy.
At home, Villasis did not talk about the risks of his job but spent his time keeping their house spic and span and bonding with the kids, Shella said.
His last visit to his family was more than a month ago and his last phone call was on August 10.
The slain soldier's remains will be brought to his parent’s house in Barangay Jaena Norte in Jamindan, Capiz at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday for a five-day wake upon the request of his father.
He will then be transferred to their house in Barangay Cogon, Sigma to be buried at the municipal cemetery on a date yet to be determined.
Tapaz Mayor Roberto Palomar condemned what he called a barbaric act “to the highest level.”
The Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF6-ELCAC) likewise denounced the slaying as “an act of terror designed to undermine the peace efforts of the government in the hinterland barangays of Tapaz, Capiz.”
Brig. Gen. Marion R. Sison, commander of the 301st Infantry Brigade, called it a “cowardly act of desperation by the communist terrorist group.”
The commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Eric C. Vinoya, assured that what Villasis had started in Barangay Lahug would be continued until the local communist armed conflict comes to an end.
The Communist Party of the Philippines - NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)