FACT CHECK: PCOO undersecretary claims that Lumad volunteer teacher Chad Booc is a ‘terrorist NPA’
March 4, 2022

On February 24, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Lorraine Marie Badoy stated on her Facebook account that Chad Booc, one of the five killed in Davao de Oro on February 24, is a “terrorist NPA [New People’s Army].” Badoy went on to claim that Booc “radicalized indigenous children so that the CPP-NPA-NDF could use them for their fundraising in Europe and all over the world.”

This is FALSE.

CLAIM:
Lumad volunteer teacher Chad Booc is a “terrorist NPA”

RATING:
FALSE 

FACTS:
Booc was a computer science graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman who, since 2016, has volunteered to be a mathematics teacher for ALCADEV, a Lumad alternative school in Surigao del Sur. According to the Save Our Schools Network, Booc was sent to Davao de Oro to conduct research on the areas where Lumad schools can be reopened on Wednesday night, February 23, the night before his death.

Booc, along with fellow volunteer teacher and activist Gelejurain “Jurain” Ngujo II, community health worker Elegyn Balonga, and two drivers identified as Robert Aragon and Tirso Añar, were victims of the New Bataan 5 massacre that happened on Thursday, February 24.

The 10th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines alleged that the five were killed in an encounter with the NPA in New Bataan, Davao de Oro. However, residents of Barangay Andap have confirmed that no encounter between the military and the NPA happened that day.

Even the Communist Party of the Philippines confirmed that no encounter took place in New Bataan last February 24 and that Booc was not an armed combatant.

WHY IT MATTERS:
Badoy currently has 136,749 followers on Facebook. The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has a P1.9 billion budget for 2022, part of which goes to funding Badoy’s office. PCOO and Badoy herself have been fact-checked multiple times. As of writing, the post in question has more than 3,800 reactions, 491 comments, and 1,200 shares. – Philip Mateo & Lyka Naranjo

Altermidya Network is part of #FactsFirstPH which brings together various sectors that are committed to promoting truth in the public space, and exacting accountability on those who harm it with lies. For those interested to join the initiative, email info@factsfirst.ph.

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