Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Alleged abuses in Salugpungan schools bared

(SunStar Davao graphics)

LUMAD leaders bared the abuses carried out by the teachers of Salugpungan community schools in Talaingod, Davao del Norte which prompted them to close down these schools and deny entry of non-government organizations (NGO).

Datu Asenad S. Bago, a former student of Salugpungan and former member of the New People’s Army (NPA), claimed that they were sexually abused by the teachers of the Lumad school when they were still studying there.

“Gani ang nahitabo sa amoa, ang mga gipangbutang ni Satur Ocampo nga mga maestro sa eskwelahan sa Salugpungan mga bayot, gani ginapang-rape mi. Mao nay sakit kaayo huna-hunaon grabe jud - giwal-an mi ug katungod (Satur Ocampo assigned gay teachers in Salugpungan schools who were raping us. That hurts us because they took our rights),” Bago said.

He added, “Gihimo pa mi nilang kapital, gibaligya mi sa lain nasod og gipang-rape pajud mi sa mga maestro nga si Ronnie Garcia, di jud ka makabalibad kay ug mubalibad ka sa iyang buhaton dili ka kapasar ug mubalik-balik kag skwela (We were sold in other countries and raped by a teacher named Ronnie Garcia. You can’t say no, otherwise you will fail).”

Bago said they were forced to follow what was instructed of them because of fear that they might not finish their studies.

“Dili nami musugot nga naa pay mga organization nga musulod sa amoa tungod kay mao ning nakahatag og kagubot sa amoa (We will not allow any organization to enter our community because it will only bring chaos),” Bago said.

Bai Jocelyn A. Wata, a former Salugpungan teacher, said that when she was teaching in Salugpungan, she was raped by an NPA commander. Her cousins and sister were also allegedly raped.

She recalled that the top official would rape the girls first before the other members.

She also recalled teaching the students how to handle firearms, how to lie, and how to evacuate when there is an ongoing operation of the NPA.

Authorities are now collating the affidavits on the abuses for possible filing of cases.

Jay Apiag, spokesperson of the left-leaning rights group Karapatan in Southern Mindanao, denied the accusation of the Lumad leaders against the Salugpungan schools.

He said those who talked against the schools were being used and were paid by the state forces to go against fellow Indigenous People (IP).

SunStar Davao tried to reach out to Salugpungan community schools but they requested for a separate interview.


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