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SOS Network wants CHR to probe New Bataan 5 killing

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 11,2022 - 06:30 PM

Bakwit 7

A photo of ‘Bakwit 7’, taken after they were released from prison on May 15, 2021, after being arrested during a so-called inter-agency ‘rescue operation.’ In black and white is Chad Booc.| contributed photo


CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Save Our Schools Network and human rights advocates call on the Commission on Human Rights and other groups to conduct further investigation on the death of the New Bataan 5.

The group continues to assert that a ‘massacre’ happened in the death of the New Bataan 5, including Chad Booc, in what authorities claimed an ‘armed encounter’. 

The call was made following the preliminary findings of the latter’s autopsy.

“Preliminary gross findings showed multiple gunshot wounds of the trunk causing death. There were internal hemorrhages with lacerations of the lungs, diaphragm, liver, spleen, stomach, intestines, right kidney and right adrenal gland. There were fractures of some ribs (right 8th, 9th and 11th) and thoracic vertebrae (5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th). The spinal cord was transected,” a portion of the autopsy result reads.

READ: Booc of ‘Bakwit School 7’ killed in ‘armed encounter’ in Davao de Oro

The SOS Network in a press statement released on March 11, 2022, welcomed the preliminary findings of the autopsy conducted on Booc’s body. The said autopsy was conducted by forensic pathologist Dr Raquel Fortun after Booc’s family requested for it.

“This raises more questions into the massacre of Chad, his fellow Lumad school volunteer teacher Gelejurain Ngujo II, community health worker Elegyn Balonga, and their accompanying drivers Tirso Añar and Robert Aragon, collectively known as the New Bataan 5,” a portion of the press release reads.

READ: Save Our Schools Network condemns killing of Chad Booc, 4 ithers in Davao de Oro

With this, SOS Network further asserts that the five individuals were ‘massacred unarmed and defenseless’ by the members of the 10th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The group was on its way to Davao City following a community visit they conducted in New Bataan, Davao de Oro on February 23, 2022.

“The circumstances surrounding their deaths continue to be even more deplorable now with the preliminary results of Chad Booc’s autopsy, where it was discovered that he sustained numerous gunshot wounds across the trunk,” 

“Even though an autopsy was not conducted on the rest of New Bataan 5, the initial observations of Jurain and Elegyn’s respective families on their bodies also show multiple gunshot wounds and bruises,” the statement further reads. 

According to their report, Gelejurain’s body sustained several gunshot wounds, and a part of the skin on his stomach and right thigh had allegedly been peeled off.

Also, Elegyn’s left leg had been allegedly cut off a few inches below the knee while her right foot was cut off near the ankle. The alleged dismembered limbs were allegedly wrapped and re-attached using packaging tape. 

“Blood clots had also formed on Elegyn’s fingertips. Based on the visible marks on her body, she was also shot on her right knee and below the right elbow. Her jaw was also visibly torn off and her nose bridge was bruised,”

The group further states that the individuals behind this ‘meant to kill them’ in their vulnerable state. It was an ‘overkill’, they said.

Lat March 9, 2022, Booc was laid to rest in a cemetery in Cebu City.     /rcg

READ: Groups dispute Army account of ‘lumad’ teachers’ slay 

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TAGS: armed encounter, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, massacre, Save Our Schools Network

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