On April 5, 2002, CEGP Vice President and human rights defender Benjaline Hernandez was killed by members of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) when she was about to eat lunch with four other Lumads in Sitio Bukatol, Barangay Kinawayan, Arakan Valley North Cotabato.
“Beng,” as she was fondly called, was in the area for a follow-up documentation of the Tababa massacre that also took place in Arakan Valley. The CAFGU, led by M/Sgt. Antonio Torilla of the 7th Airborne Battalion of the 12th Special Forces Company of the Philippine Army, brutally strafed on the hut where Beng and her companions were staying.
Alindro Pacana, the sole survivor, narrated that Beng pleaded for their lives. She raised her arms and cried but the soldiers cold-bloodedly shot her at close range. Her three companions, Vivian Andrade, Labaon Sinunday, and Crisanto Amora, who were all farmers, were also killed.
The Philippine military claimed that the incident was a legitimate encounter with the New People’s Army, the armed with of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Torilla claimed that his men recovered an armalite rifle, a Thompson, one .38 caliber revolver, and subversive documents from the victims.