Sunday, May 26, 2019

Army to submit evidence vs community schools

(SunStar Davao graphics)

THE army will soon submit evidences to the Department of Education (DepEd) that will prove that Salugpongan community schools are teaching different curriculum that encourages students to go against the government to back its closure.

Brigadier General Ernesto Torres Jr., Philippine Army's 1003rd Infantry Brigade commander, in a press forum Wednesday, December 5, at The Royal Mandaya Hotel said the documents and affidavit of a former Salugpongan teacher has been collected by a joint task force legal of the Philippine National Police-Armed Forces of the Philippines (PNP-AFP) who will study these documents to formalize the complaints against these Lumad schools.

“I was informed that affidavits has been executed already attesting to the fact na isang teacher na kumilos din dati sa NPA (New People’s Army) at siya mismo ang nagsasabi kung ano mismo ang tinuturo niya roon. I won’t just mention the name but I got the information [that] he executed an affidavit because he is no longer supportive to the NPA’s cause,” Torres said.

Torres added the former Salugpongan teachers taught students how to hold and maneuver firearms and incite rebellion for the students to stand up against the government. He is confident that the real agenda of these Lumad schools will soon be revealed.

Earlier, a former student of a Salugpungan School in Talaingod, Davao del Norte claimed the school conducts false teaching, especially against the military.

Asenad Bago, a former student of Salugpungan Sitio Dulyan in Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte said in an interview that they were taught by their teachers to tell false accusations against the military such as burning their schools.

“Pagsugod nimo ana tudluan ka’g abakada ug memorayson ang abakada. Kada letra naay kahulugan, example anang A, Armas B, Bala (We are taught abakada and in every letter it has meaning, say for exampla A for Arms, B for Bullets),” Bago said.

The military commander said, “Even us in the military, we have recovered documents from Salugpongan schools even may mga bata na napakanta namin ng Lupang Hinirang na Lupang Sinira ang title. Iba ‘yong lyrics noon and even the way the questionnaires, the questions were done para doon sa mga bata. For example, one of the recovered documents in Salugpongan nakalagay doon: Tutulungan nating armasan ang mga Lumad para maipagtanggol nila ang yutang kabilin. Ang sagot ng bata mali because it espouses violence clearly but it was marked wrong by the teacher.”

These were their basis why they have red-tagged these schools which they said have been used for propaganda by the left organization.

The student said he tried to transfer to another school but he was not accepted because he could not represent any valid document like form 137 since the school was not accredited by the DepEd.

“We hoped these documents would come so that we can have a good basis for the DepEd to make their decision for the closure of Salugpongan,” he said.

Earlier, the Department of Education issued a statement belying claims that they issued a close order against these schools but Torres said that there should be a reassessment of these Salugpongan schools because although they have a permit to operate but they lack document coming from the tribes authorizing the establishment and operation of Salugpongan schools in the ancestral domain.

“It is a question of legality between IPRA (Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act of 1997) and policies of DepEd kasi DepEd nong una, nagbigay sila ng permit to operate wala pang IPRA laws, wala pang FPIC (Free, Prior and Informed Consent) but in IPRA law, I think this is a legal question that has to be resolved by the DepEd and NCIP at the national level,” Torres saidd. (JCR with RDC)


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