Save Our Schools Network condemns killing of Chad Booc, 4 others in Davao de Oro
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Save Our Schools Network condemns the killing of Chad Booc, one of the ‘Bakwit School 7’, claiming this as a ‘bloody massacre’ contrary to what the military claimed as an ‘armed encounter’.
Booc was killed on Thursday, February 24, 2022, together with four other individuals. Authorities also identified the other fatalities as Jojarain Alce Nguho II alias Rain, a certain alias Daday and two still unidentified men.
A report from the 10th Infantry Division disclosed that the ‘armed encounter’ happened in Purok-8, Barangay Andap, New Bataan, Davao de Oro between the military and alleged members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTGs).
In their statement released on Friday evening, February 25, the group claimed that some locals in Barangay Andap said that there was no ‘armed encounter’ that happened in their barangay on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
“What the AFP claims as an “encounter” is in fact a massacre of civilians in the area. And in its attempt to justify these gruesome killings, the armed forces once again twist the truth to play into their narrative as they have done many times before,” a portion of their statement read.
Further, the statement also claimed that the 101st Infantry Brigade of the AFP allegedly paraded the bodies of these five individuals as ‘war trophies’. They also claimed that the guns and ammunition recovered from these five individuals were allegedly planted.
The military, in their report, found one M653 rifle, one caliber .45 pistol, one hand grenade, one anti-personnel mine, assorted food supplies, and personal belongings.
Over this incident, the Save Our Schools Network cries for justice and further investigation of this incident.
“Together with the victims’ families, the Save Our Schools Network demands justice and a thorough investigation for Chad, for Jurain, and the other victims of the massacre. We enjoin our fellow advocates to call to address the root causes of armed conflict and resume peace talks!” their statement further read.
It can be recalled that Chad Booc was among those seven arrested individuals during the so-called inter-agency ‘rescue operation’ last February 15, 2021, in one of the universities in Cebu City. They were arrested for allegedly holding several Indigenous People, specifically 19 minors from Talaingod in Mindanao.
Booc was with Segundo Lagatos Melong, Benito Dalim Bay-ao, Moddie Langayed Mansimoy-at, Esmelito Paumba Oribawan, and Jomar Bena during the arrests.
Cases filed against them were violations of the Child Abuse Law, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, kidnapping, and serious illegal detention.
These cases, however, were dismissed by Provincial Prosecutor Norman Solis of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Davao Del Norte last May 5, and they were ordered to be released immediately. On May 14, 2021, they were released from jail.
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