ALL Salugpongan Ta’tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center Inc. (Salugpungan) and its affiliated schools are no longer operating, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported.
Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID) Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief Captain Jerry Lamosao said that based on the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) and from ground reports, particularly coming from the community support program (CSP) teams, Salugpungan schools have ceased operations.
What’s left in the Lumad areas are just the structures of these schools. Earlier, the provincial government of Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte vowed to put up more schools in remote areas to make education more accessible to the Indigenous People (IPs).
“Ating napansin na, mismo ang mga residente, mismo ang mga tribal chieftain, they want these structures demolished katong gi-turnover ang project sa provincial government diha sa Compostela Valley Province. Mao ang mga residente nga maoy nagtukod sa una og kanang mga Salugpungan schools, gi-demolish nila, they don’t want any piece nga makit-an pa nila sa Salugpongan (We observed that the residents and the tribal leaders themselves want these structures demolished during the project turnover in Compostela Valley Province. That is why the resident who helped build the Salugpungan schools before they are also the ones who demolished these. They no longer want to see any mark of the schools),” Lamosao said.
The shutdown was made after the Department of Education (DepEd) 11 found "substantial" pieces of evidence to recommend for the school's closure. Based on committee's findings, Salugpungan does not comply with the curriculum standards set by DepEd.
Lamosao said that in the affidavit of former students, during the operations of these schools they were allegedly teaching communist ideologies and grooming future New People’s Army (NPA) fighters, there have been lots of lives that were lost, families that were destroyed, and broken promises from the organizers.
“Tama lang pod nga wala na sila nag-operate kay una, declaration na sa Deped and we support the fact that if dili ni siya ma-close, daghan pag estudyante ang mabiktima, daghan pa ang magamit, daghan pa ang mga bata na mahikawan sa ilahang katungod sa tama ug haom nga edukasyon para sa ilaha (It's only fitting to close the Salugpungan schools and we support the declaration of DepEd. If not, there will be a lot of victims who will be used and many rights of the children for quality education will be stolen),” he said.
Lamosao added that they are continuously monitoring on the ground together with the education department and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Earlier, the Davao City Council rejected the call of Councilor Pamela Librado-Morato to reopen the Salugpungan schools in the city. Only Librado-Morato voted “yes” out of 17 councilors for the reconsideration of the first reading item filed by Librado-Morato.