(Davao City. 17 February 2017) Six civilians, caught in a crossfire Thursday night between suspected members of the New Peoples Army, underwent trauma debriefing at the Center of Psychological Extension and Research Services (COPERS).

The extension service was upon the prompt referral of the Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs (MinCODE), readily acted upon by COPERS Assistant Director for Internal Affairs Randolph Reserva with the assistance of ARRUPE’s Dyester Abo-abo, a COPERS AFFiliate.

After the debriefing sessions, the clients were further treated to relaxation techniques through aromatherapy, courtesy of Ms. Winnie Fannon, a visiting scholar from Singapore’s Republic Technical who was in town to educate on the psychological applications of aromatherapy.

COPERS responds to the community needs for psychosocial interventions in times of disaster as per I-HELP protocols of the University Community Extension and Advocacy Council.

In the next few days, COPERS is set to address the psychosocial processing of NPA rebels who had surrendered this week to government forces during the 21 armed encounters recorded in the region since the collapse of the latest round of peace talks between the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.