THE 4th Infantry Division (4ID) welcomes the legislative inquiry of the Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples (CICCIP) into the educational institutions for lumads in Caraga region.
Captain Reggie Go, 4ID spokesperson, said the CICCIP is looking into the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and Tribal Filipino Program of Lianga, Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS Inc.).
“We gladly welcome CCIP’s interest in the issue involving ALACADEV and TRIFPSS as this will shed light on the true nature and purpose of these entities. We are expecting a comprehensive and unbiased result from the inquiry because we want the truth to come out,” Go said.
On April 28, the inspection team composed of lawyer Rueben Lingating, chairman of the Indigenous People’s Peace Panel of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP); Adora Pueblo, CICCIP committee secretariat; and representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National Commission on Indigenous People’s (NCIP) visited Kilometer 16, Sitio Han-ayan, Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur to validate reports citing the said lumad (indigenous people) schools alleged connection with the communist group.
According to Go, the CICCIP said, “significant data and information about their alleged involvement reached the committee nd the Office of the House Speaker by the National Security Adviser (NSA) in December 2018 and in January this year, prompting the conduct of the inquiry.”
Meanwhile, Major General Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4ID commander, said the Army leadership fully supports the legislative inquiry in the interest of truth.
“Let truth finally come out about these dubious organizations who continue to sow discord in our communities particularly among our lumads. I am confident their true colors will be exposed along with the persons and organizations behind them who lure unsuspecting people including our children and youth,” Gacal said.
The Army commander said he is confident that the inquiry will "result into laws that would ensure right education for children, and better protect IP or lumad communities from CPP-NPA exploitation and abuse.”
“They have been hiding under the cloak of these schools and other entities all these years to promote communist-terrorist ideologies. Let’s save our children and youth from the clutches of the CPP-NPA. It is about time we stop them from destroying families, communities and the entire country,” he added.
This is not the first time that lumad schools are targeted red-tagged, the Alcadev said.
The institution dismissed the allegations and instead celebrated their 20 newly-graduates.
“Sa apat na taon nila sa ALCADEV, kumaharap sila sa napakatinding pang-aatakeng militar. Noong Year I pa lang sila ay sinalubong agad sila ng pagpaslang ng kasundaluhan at paramilitar sa ating Executive Director, Lumad leader at Datu na si Sir Emok Samarca, Dionel Campos at Bello Sinzo. Walang katapusan ang pagyurak sa karapatang pantao hanggang sa kanilang pagtatapos,” the Alcadev said in its Facebook post.
It celebrated graduation day last March 15.
“Labis ang tuwa ng mga mag-aaral, magulang, lider, guro, buong tribu at mga tagasuporta dahil sa nakamit na tagumpay na ito,” it added.