Published March 7, 2022, 11:25 PM
by Gabriela Baron
The University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Office of the Chancellor Executive Staff on Monday, March 7, condemned the killing of Chad Booc, an activist and volunteer teacher for the Lumads.
UP also mourned the death of Booc’s fellow volunteer teacher Gelejurain Ngujo II and Kevin Castro, former chair of the UP Diliman College of Education Student Council and also a volunteer community teacher.
Booc and Ngujo, along with three others, died in an alleged encounter in New Bataan, Davao de Oro last Feb. 24.
“Chad and Kevin were volunteer teachers and civilian non-combatants when they were killed and tagged as terrorists by forces of the military. But the only act they had committed was to live the life of Iskolar para sa Bayan: to pursue, not career or prestige, but the noblest vision of a better nation through the education and empowerment of underprivileged communities,” UP’s statement read.
“Through the years of continuous harassment and intimidation, castigation and arrest, they had continued on this road less traveled by–to teach and learn with the masses, to believe in justice and education for all,” it further read.
The University echoed calls for justice for the deaths of Booc, Castro, and Ngujo and reiterated its commitment to “protecting the sanctity of our schools and universities” from red-tagging and military violence.
“We will continue to protect our constitutional rights and to defend academic freedom. We will persevere, and we will never forget.”