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Who is Chad Booc, the activist arrested in Cebu with the Lumad?

Chad Booc made headlines on Monday, February 15, after he was arrested, along with 5 others, during a police raid on the retreat house hosting Lumad children at the University of San Carlos in Cebu.

With little proof to substantiate their claim, police alleged that Booc and the 5 other suspects had been training the 19 minors in their custody to be "child warriors" under a communist rebel group.

Since the arrest, the University of San Carlos has released a statement, saying the students and the arrested 6 adults were housed in the university's retreat house after being stranded due to the pandemic lockdown.

But who is Chad Booc?

Booc finished his computer science course cum laude at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

He is widely known on social media for his posts about militarization in Lumad communities.

In 2016, Booc volunteered to be a mathematics teacher for ALCADEV, a Lumad alternative school in Surigao del Sur. 

During his years as a volunteer teacher, he chronicled experiences ranging from school events and endemic Lumad culture, to forced community evacuations and death threats he received as a volunteer teacher. 

With thousands of followers on Twitter and through his Facebook posts, his profiles have become a source for news on remote Lumad communities.

But also because of this, the 26-year-old had been red-tagged multiple times as a terrorist recruiter, even by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict

Prior to his arrest on February 15, Booc had also faced arrest for joining a protest in Batasang Pambansa to oppose Martial Law in Mindanao in July 2017. He was arrested along with 7 other activists and volunteer teachers.

Since their release, Booc had continued to attend protests and demonstrations. He also wrote about urban poor communities in Cebu during his immersions. 

Booc is among the signatories in the 24th petition against the anti-terror law, which the Supreme Court is currently hearing.

Now separated from their students, Booc and the 5 others await inquest proceedings after being arrested without warrant. – Rappler.com