A LEADER of an indigenous people's (IP) group said they were hurt and insulted by President Rodrigo Duterte’s threats to bomb Lumad schools many of which the President said have supposed links to communist rebels.
Jomorito Goaynon, chairman of Kalumbay Lumad organization in Northern Mindanao, said the children who went to Lumad schools have not been "brainwashed" with subversive ideas as alleged by the President.
In fact, Goaynon said these children were even victims of paramilitaries who have been destroying their schools.
"Para sa amo panamastamas ang gihimo ni President Duterte kay dili tinuod nga gigamit sa NPA ang mga batang lumad. Apan biktima hinuon sila sa mga paramilitary nga naga bungkag sa ilang eskwelahan," Goaynon said.
Goaynon also said the Lumad schools have secured permits from the Department of Education and even made courtesy with the local government units before building and operating the schools.
He said about 64 Lumad schools are operating in the region with the full support of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines.
Goaynon said they were hurt that the president whom they believed could help elevate and support the plight of the Lumad children would threaten instead to bomb and ruin their schools in his second State of the Nation Address (Sona).
"Sakit dawaton ang mga pulong sa presidente kay nagtuo mi nga siya makatabang sa mga lumad pero makaingon ta nga dili pa gyud diay siya moila sa mga katawhang lumad," Goaynon said.
"Insulto iyang mga pulong kay unsa iyang pagtuo gigamit rami ug walay baruganan? Sakit para sa amo," he added.
Kalumbay gave Duterte's first year of office a failing mark after the President failed to fulfill his promises pushed by the lumads in the peoples' agenda.
Goaynon calls on Duterte to neutralize paramilitaries in the lumad communities, end martial law and restore the peace talks.
"Ang martial law ang nagdala’g kagubot ug hulga sa mga lumad sa Mindanao ug dili tubag ang gyera kundili peace talks," Goaynon said.
In a statement, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) described Duterte as the "lowest of the low" and an "arrogant street thug intoxicated with power."
"To the Madman Duterte: Nice try. You thought you could still fool the people with your grandstanding and phrasemongering. Having been rebuked by the people's jeers, you threaten to drop bombs on the lumad schools. You threaten to kill the children. You are the lowest of the low," the CPP said in a statement.
"You are a madman with bombs. You are a bully. An arrogant street thug intoxicated with power. But you only pick on the weak, the small and the oppressed. You bomb their homes, shell their communities and expect them to bow to your power. You exercise power but only against the powerless," the statement added.