March 6, 2022
Petition to
Philippine Commission on Human Rights and
Signatures: 3,161Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Join the collective effort to obtain justice for New Bataan 5 Massacre victims!


On February 23, 2022, 9:30 P.M., volunteer teachers for Lumad (indigenous) youth, Chad Booc and Gelejurain Nguho II, community health worker Elegyn Balonga, and two accompanying drivers Robert Aragon and Tirso Añar, were traveling from New Bataan, Davao de Oro, Philippines, where they were conducting a community visit as part of their research work. On their way driving back to Davao City, they were arbitrarily arrested and brutally massacred by the 10th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under the false accusation that the five were members of the New Peoples Army (NPA).

On February 25, 2022, the 10th Infantry Division of the AFP posted a press release on their official Facebook page parading their murders of the five unarmed civilians and claiming they were “killed in an encounter” a day prior.

We strongly assert that the victims were unarmed community volunteers and their murders must merit the strongest condemnation.

Who were the victims?

Chad Booc was a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman with a cum laude degree in Computer Science and of a middle class background. He turned down a career and life of comfort, choosing instead to became a volunteer teacher. In 2016, he began volunteering for a Lumad high school, Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) in Surigao del Sur. In 2020, Chad joined Lumad students and datus in a makeshift school in Cebu City. He was part of the Bakwit School 7 who were raided, arrested, and jailed without a warrant at the Lumad Bakwit School in Cebu in February 2021. Chad had received trumped-up charges and was held in jail for 3 months, and later freed after widespread rallying in the Bakwit School 7’s defense, and the lack of evidence to support the police’s claims. Despite this ruling, Chad continued to be targeted by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and feared for his life. He was also one of the petitioners against the Anti-Terror Law.

Jurain was a graduate of Liceo de Davao - Briz Campus in Tagum City with a degree in Secondary Education majoring in English. He came from a humble family of farmers, and was known for being patient, caring, and soft-spoken. Immediately after graduating, Jurain embodied the mission of the Lumad education, which is to use one’s skills and knowledge to then serve marginalized communities by becoming a teacher for the Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao (CTCSM). After a year, he decided to become a volunteer teacher for the Bakwit School in Manila in 2018, and then in Cebu in 2019 and 2020. Like Chad, he was also a recipient of threats and intimidation from state forces for his work as a volunteer Lumad school teacher.

Elegyn Balonga was a community health worker who served in UCCP Haran, a Lumad sanctuary in Davao City, from 2013 to 2018. She also facilitated medical students for their internship in UCCP Haran. Elgyn was active in numerous medical missions in remote areas such as Talaingod and Kapalong, Davao del Norte. She lived a life of service for the Lumad, farmers, and workers.

Throughout their years of service, Chad, Jurain, and Elegyn had been subjected to threats, harassment, intimidation, including death threats, red-tagging and terror-tagging, and surveillance. It is deplorable that the very people who take up the initiative to serve in far-flung, marginalized communities, where the Duterte government cares little to address the needs of its residents, are criminalized, targeted, and killed in cold blood.

Call to action:

Join Save Our Schools Network and the families of the victims in exposing these violations of the International Humanitarian Law and basic human rights!

This petition calls upon the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to conduct an immediate and impartial investigation of the massacre.

Justice for New Bataan 5 Massacre!

Make your voice heard!

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Signatures: 3,161Next Goal: 5,000
Support now