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Solons warn DepEd on act of red tagging of Lumad schools

3 October 2017 No Comment

PRESS RELEASE

03 October 2017

 

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio and Rep. France Castro warned the Department of Education (DepEd) in South Cotabato not to rely on any statements of the 27th Infantry Battalion about what it alleged to be a “revolutionary school” in Sitio Lamnu, Barangay Lam Afus, Banga, South Cotabato.

 

“The community learning schools and Lumad schools in South Cotabato have long been operational and in existence for the benefit of the children, however, until now the DepEd failed to release their accreditation. The DepEd has certain procedures and requirements which clearly do not include any inputs by the military but they still plan to use such,” Castro pointed.

 

“We warn DepEd South Cotabato not to entertain any malicious allegations of the military, considering its long and bloody record of targeting indigenous peoples (IPs) as so-called enemies of the state.  Instead of listening to the 27th IB, the DepEd should immediately act on the applications for accreditation of the IP schools and community learning centers in the area which have long been pending with DepEd,” said the solons. “As the agency tasked to ensure that all children are accorded their right to education, the DepEd must support the Lumad schools already existing in the areas.”

 

“DepEd should also conduct an independent assessment of the schools and decide on their accreditation based on its own procedures and rules, taking into consideration the lack of public schools in the area, the communities’ efforts to establish their schools, and the culture and needs of the IP communities they serve.  We demand that DepEd give the schools due process and inform whatever school or schools that they are subject of the military’s allegations,” Tinio said.

 

According to news reports, DepEd South Cotabato is awaiting the formal statement of the 27th IB on what it alleges to be a school maintained by the New People’s Army (NPA) in the barangay.  Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Benjamin Leander alleged that the school presents itself as an IP school but espouses teachings against the government.

 

In addition, the community schools and Lumad schools within the area did not receive any notices from DepEd regarding the conduct of investigation while the military still continues to threaten the school and the community.

 

“We strongly condemn the action of DepEd South Cotabato that plans to rely on the report of the army as if abandoning their function to ensure the right of children to education.  DepEd must not give or abandon its primary function in the education sector to the army,” solons ended. ###

SOS SouthCot PR

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