(UPDATED) FIVE suspected members of New Peoples Army (NPA), including a teacher who was charged for human trafficking of indigenous peoples (IP) children from Talaingod, Davao del Norte to Cebu, were killed in an encounter in Purok 8, Barangay Andap, New Bataan, Davao de Oro on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
In a press release from the 10th Infantry Division (10ID) of the Philippine Army, the fatalities were identified as Jojarain Alce Nguho II alias Rain, Chad Booc alias Chad, a certain alias Daday and two still unidentified males.
The 10ID said the encounter between government forces and the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, believed to be led by Eric Jun Casilao alias Wally/Ellan, and Regional Operations Command, SMRC led by Leo Lacumbo alias Ole, happened around early Thursday morning.
The army said the communist group scampered and withdrew southwards after a 15-minute firefight leaving one M653 rifle, one caliber .45 pistol, one hand grenade, one anti-personnel mine, assorted food supplies, and personal belongings.
Booc, who was among those who were killed in the encounter, was also one of those arrested by the Central Visayas police after being involved in bringing IP children from Davao del Norte to Cebu on February 15, 2021.
Collectively identified as "Bakwit School 7," Booc’s group allegedly kidnapped and brought the IP children to the retreat house of the Societas Verbi Divini Philippines Southern Province, University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus in Cebu City.
The "Bakwit School 7" is composed of Booc, Segundo Lagatos Melong, Benito Dalim Bay-ao, Moddie Langayed Mansimoy-at, Esmelito Oribawan, Roshelle Mae Porcadilla, and Jomar Benag.
The group was later released following the decision of the court in Cebu.