Legislator urges Deped to stop using military terminology in its programs


May 28, 2012

Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)


ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio is calling on the Department of Education to stop using military terminology in promoting its campaigns and programs for public schools.


“Why is Deped obsessed with using military terms, such as ‘Oplan Balik-Eskewla’ and ‘Brigada Eskwela’?” he asked. “Has the Department forgotten that it’s a civilian organization and that it should be promoting a culture of peace based on justice?”


Tinio noted that the term “Oplan,” short for “Operation Plan,” is a term used in military planning. “The counterinsurgency campaigns of successive administrations are refered to as such. The Arroyo administration had ‘Oplan Bantay Laya,’ which was associated with extrajudicial killings and other gross human rights violations. The current administration has its ‘Oplan Bayanihan,’ which currently involves massive military operations in certain parts of the country. Why must the Deped refer to its preparations for the opening of the new school year as ‘Oplan Balik-Eskwela’?”


Tinio warned that Deped’s choice of language could have a huge impact on popular culture. “Does Deped want to desensitize the tens of millions of schoolchildren under its wing, as well as the public at large, to the encroachment of the military in civilian institutions, such as our schools and public spaces?”


The party-list representative pointed out that in certain areas, militarization of schools is already taking place. “The military have targeted schools and teachers for harassment, or have set up camp in school premises in far-flung areas as part of their counterinsurgency efforts. Incidents such as these have been reported in the Cordillera, Sarangani, and Surigao del Sur.”


“We challenge Deped Secretary Armin Luistro to ensure that schools are protected from the encroachments of the military,” concluded Tinio. #