The 88th IB concocted a story that an encounter between its troops and the New People’s Army (NPA) erupted at Sitio Mahayhay, Barangay Lipa, Quezon, Bukidnon on April 28 in the morning.
What, in fact, took place in the area, was an encounter between the 88th IB’s Bravo Company and intelligence unit, according to an NPA-Bukidnon report. A soldier was slain while many others were wounded during the 30-minute firefight. An M203 grenade exploded near a community and caused fear among residents.
The 88th IB is notorious for killing, illegally arresting and coercing peasant and Lumad residents to surrender as NPA fighters. Since the unit was formed in 2017, at least five Lumad peasants were shot dead by its troopers. Among its victims are Jeffrey Bayot, a member of the Organisasyon sa Yanong Obrerong Nagkahiusa who was killed in August 2019.
The unit was also behind the arrest and detention of the chairperson of Kasama-Bukidnon and other peasants in Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus in January 2020, and of two minors in Kitaotao in February 2019.
Last December 2019, Lt. Col. Franklin F. Fabic, commander of the 88th IB, threatened to bomb Sitio Dumasilag, Barangay Sta. Filomena, Quezon and coerced residents to surrender as members and supporters of the NPA. This resulted in the forcible evacuation of 113 residents, including 35 children.
The 88th IB was jointly formed by the 3rd, 4th, 8th and 9th ID. The camp of the butcher battalion is located in Barangay South Poblacion, Maramag. Its forces serve as mercenaries and protectors of plunderous plantation and mining corporations in Bukidnon.