Autopsy: Chad Booc shot multiple times but some questions remain unanswered

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An autopsy on the remains of Lumad school teacher Chad Booc showed that he suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the trunk and right elbow, while his spinal cord was torn. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 12) — An autopsy on the remains of Lumad school teacher Chad Booc showed that he suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the trunk and right elbow, while his spinal cord was torn.

However, the forensic expert who examined his body revealed that some details were concealed due to mistakes in the disinfection.

"One of the big limitations I had was, part of the embalming involved, repaired the injuries," said forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun in videos shared by Booc's lawyer Tony La Viña on Friday.

She explained that some wounds were sewn together which could have potentially masked details, particularly an abrasion collar — scratched skin which would show if the wound was a bullet's entry or exit point.

Fortun's preliminary report stated that Booc had wounds to the trunk, and lacerations in the lungs, diaphragm, liver, spleen, stomach, intestines, right kidney and right adrenal gland. There were fractures in his ribs and vertebrae and a gunshot wound to the right elbow.

Perhaps the most fatal injury was to his spinal cord, according to Fortun, saying she first saw fractures in the spinal column which encases the spinal cord. Further inspection showed the cord was transected or cut. she added.

“Putol ‘yung spinal cord (The spinal cord was cut) ,” she noted. “At the minimum you’ll probably be immobilized, probably neurogenic shock. You’re going to die.”

The autopsy classified the manner of death as homicide.

Booc was among the five who were killed by state forces in Davao de Oro on Feb. 24, an incident which the Army said resulted from “a series of armed encounters” with a “communist terrorist group.”

The Communist Party of the Philippines, however, rejected this claim.

Booc’s autopsy was conducted on March 7, two days after he was embalmed.

Fortun said she would also need details from the bodies of the other four victims to reconstruct the shooting.