Press Release
March 14, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1,234:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Autopsy Result of the New Bataan 5

I couldn't even bear to finish reading the news reports on the result of the autopsy done on Chad Booc who was killed with his companions, fellow Lumad school volunteer teacher Jurain Ngujo II, community health worker Elegyn Balonga, and their drivers, Tirso Añar and Robert Aragon. It painted a harrowing picture of what could have really happened in the last moments of their young lives. Brutal! I can't imagine how their loved ones must have felt.

With the preliminary results of the autopsy done on Chad Booc, it is but right to demand for further, and independent investigation on the incident that led to their deaths.

Impunity murdered these young people who could have lived comfortable lives given their credentials but chose to serve the poor and marginalized. Our humanity has become so debased in the last six years that we treat young people like them as enemies of the State and kill them with unconscionable brutality in the name of national security. It may be easier to just send our sympathies to their families, ma-shock ng konti tapos move on na, but we shouldn't. We must continue to resist this prevailing culture of impunity and the blatant attempt to desensitize us from these atrocities being done to our people. Ibalik ang hustisya sa ating bayan.

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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