You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

Tribal leaders, military want Lumad schools shut down for ‘breeding communists’

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 5 days ago Merueñas, Mark
a man smiling for the camera: Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Public Affairs Officer, Colonel Noel Detoyato, © Reuters Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Public Affairs Officer, Colonel Noel Detoyato,

Less than a day after a Davao court ordered the release of 12 Lumad children from government custody to their parents, the military presented tribal leaders calling for the closure of Lumad schools in Mindanao for supposedly being a breeding ground for communist rebels.

Among the tribal leaders who called for the closure of Lumad schools, particularly that of Salumpungan and Alcadev, were Datu Joel Unad and Bae Diwata of the Mindanao Indigenous People’s Conference For Peace and Development.

The tribal leaders were presented at a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo moderated by Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs chief Colonel Noel Detoyato in connection with the arrest of former Bayan Muna party-list representative Satur Ocampo, Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, and 16 others for allegedly committing human trafficking and violating anti-child abuse laws for rescuing the children while on a national solidarity mission that would deliver food and school supplies to a Lumad community in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

“Dapat po mapasara lahat ng schools [na iyan] kasi 70 to 80 percent po ng CPP-NPA eh galing sa katutubo, 'dun sila kumukuha ng mga miyembro, cadres, sa mga school. 'Yung mga nagra-rally po sa lansangan, sa Mendiola, galing ho rito sa mga schools, kaya dapat mapasara ang schools, NGOs, na affiliated sa CPP-NPA,” Diwata said.

“Kasi 'di naman po kayo ang biktima eh. Ang mga katutubo po ang biktima. Sana po lahat ng schools na 'yan mapasara, lalo na sa Caraga region,” Diwata added.

Unad, for his part, said that while establishing schools is of help since it enables the community members to read and write, the subject being taught is not supportive of the government.

'Yung edukasyon roon, paglaban sa feudalismo, capitalismo at imperyalismo,” Unad, who was also interviewed by diehard President Rodrigo Duterte supporter and entertainer Mocha Uson for her blog in September and met Philippine National Police Chief Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde, Jr. in October, said.

A certain Magdalena, on the other hand, claimed that she was educated in a Lumad school and eventually recruited to communist ranks when she reached high school.

“Naging bahagi na po ako ng Samahang Kabataang Makabayan, ako po ang secretary, nagre-recruit ako sa mga barangay. Kung bata, paaaralin, kung may edad, kukunin nilang NPA, full-time,” Magdalena said.

“Nag-full-time NPA na po ako. Pag may rally, kumukuha ako ng mga bata sa mga barangay, sinasakay ko ng dump truck,”Magdalena, who quit the communist movement and surrendered to government, added.

Detoyato echoed the tribal leaders' call for the closure of Lumad schools.

“These schools are not aligned with the mission of the government. To resolve this, we have to align ourselves. Dapat lahat ng taga gobyerno naka-align [sa misyon]. Kaya may pagkukulang ang DepEd (Department of Education),” Detoyato said

Castro and Ocampo, who are out on bail, have earlier denied the charges against them, saying that it was the military and the police who defied the law by arresting them for helping the Lumad community. — Llanesca T. Panti/MDM, GMA News

More From GMA News Online

GMA News Online
GMA News Online
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon