Farmers condemn the massacre of Lumad school volunteer teachers, civilians in New Bataan, Davao de Oro

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today condemned the heinous killing of Lumad school volunteer teachers Chad Errol Booc and Gelejurain “Jurain” Ngujo II, community health worker Elgyn Balonga, and their two accompanying drivers committed by the state forces.

KMP supports the clamor of the bereaved families and human rights defenders for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and other independent bodies to investigate the killings to shed light on what transpired and who is responsible for the death of Booc and others.

“It has been the military’s modus operandi to abduct, kill, and present their victims as combatants killed in an armed encounter. It was already established that Booc, Ngujo, Balong, and their companion drivers are unarmed civilians. They were mercilessly killed. We seek justice for their deaths,” says KMP leader and Anakpawis chairperson Rafael Mariano. Mariano said so many farmers were killed this way. “Papaslangin at saka pagbibintangan na NPA o armado. Napakalupit.”

According to Save Our Schools Network, on the evening of February 23, the victims were traveling back to Davao City from New Bataan, Davao de Oro, where they conducted a community visit as part of their research work. On February 25, Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division claimed that the victims were slain in an armed encounter on February 24 in Barangay Andap, New Bataan. However, ground reports from residents confirmed that no such encounter happened.

“This latest massacre will be on Duterte and the NTF-ELCAC’s hand. They are responsible for the deaths of hundreds unjustly killed by the government’s war against the people,” Mariano said. ###

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