Lumad teacher Chad Booc was killed by state forces yesterday, February 24.
The 10th Infantry Division initially said that Booc was killed in an armed encounter in New Bataan, Davao de Oro. Along with Booc, four more individuals were killed, one of which was also a volunteer teacher in Southern Mindanao.
Contrary to this claim, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Chief Information Officer Marco Valbuena said that the state forces’ “‘encounter’ claim is an outright lie”. The local New People’s Army (NPA) unit in the area confirmed that no encounter happened in New Bataan, Davao de Oro.
Booc is a graduate of UP Diliman and served as a human rights activist. He served as a volunteer teacher for Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) Lumad school.
On February 15, 2021, Booc was among the detainees in what the state claimed as a “rescue operation” in a Bakwit School in Cebu. However, Lumads and progressives view the arrests as an attack against their community.
Even prior to his arrest and eventual death, Booc has long been red-tagged by state forces.