SEVERAL faculty members of the Department of Computer Science (DCS) of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman called for the immediate release of Lumad teachers who were nabbed in a raid in Cebu City.
One of those arrested Lumad teachers is Chad Booc, an "honor graduate" of UP Diliman who is reportedly teaching Mathematics in a Lumad school.
"One of two teachers arrested was our honor graduate, Mr. Chad Booc, who teaches Mathematics at the Lumad school and is working to improve on the Manobo Dictionary, a translation app," the DCS said in a statement.
Booc was among the 26 Lumads who were nabbed by police on February 15 in a retreat house owned by the SVD priests located inside the University of San Carlos (USC)-Talamban Campus in Cebu City.
Police Regional Office-Central Visayas Director Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo earlier said that the pieces of evidence they have gathered are strong enough for those arrested to be charged with human trafficking, child abuse and kidnapping.
Police authorities claimed that the Lumad teachers and leaders from Davao del Norte were holding some Lumad children in the USC campus without the parents' consent.
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But the DSC denounced how the police, military, social welfare officials and paramilitary groups "forcefully took away students and teachers staying at the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus."
"We join the chorus of condemnations for the invasion of the University of San Carlos (a partner institution of the ERDT consortium); the abuse of children (described as a "rescue" operation); the maltreatment of cultural minorities and the utter disrespect for the SVD, the religious community in whose retreat house the Lumads stayed," it said in a statement.
"We call for the immediate release of all the detainees," it added.
The statement posted Wednesday, February 17, was signed by 18 faculty members of the DSC of UP Diliman. (LMY)