RESIDENTS in a community in Compostela, Davao de Oro demolished the Salugpungan Ta'Tatanu Igkanugon Learning Center Inc. more than three years after the school stopped its operation in the area.

On Friday, January 14, the community members of Purok 6, Sitio Cambudlot, Barangay San Miguel led the demolition of the Salugpungan school, which had been deserted since 2017.

Captain Mark Anthony Tito, spokesman of Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division, told SunStar Davao in a phone interview that the demolition of the school came after members of the indigenous peoples (IP) community filed a resolution in April 2021 requesting for a DepEd-run school in their area.

"Nagpasa og resolution ang community nga ipaguba ang school para mawala na ang symbol sa communist terrorist group nga mao nagpatukod ato (The community passed a resolution to demolish the school to destroy the symbol of the communist terrorist group who established the school)," Tito said, referring to the communist group as Communist Party of the Philippines–New People's Army, which the government claims has closed ties with the Salugpungan administrators.

He said the provincial government through the Bayanihan Program will soon construct a two-classroom building in the area to replace the center.

DepEd-Davao, in October 2019, issued a closure order in all Salugpungan and its affiliate school in the region after almost two months of investigation.

The recommendation was based on the investigation of the five-member fact-finding committee created by DepEd, also requesting all student records to be turned over to the DepEd Schools Division Office for proper custody.

Based on the committee's findings, Salugpungan does not comply with the curriculum standards set by DepEd.

The committee also said Salugpungan allegedly brought its students away from their home without the consent of their parents and used them to generate funds by making them perform the plight of the Lumad, which is violating DepEd's Child Protection Policy.

The Regional Peace and Order Council-Davao, in January 2019, passed a resolution seeking the immediate closure of UCCP-Haran, which has been serving as temporary shelter for the IPs from various provinces since early 2015.

According to the resolution, the "security sector have recorded violations of IPs' rights, child abuse, child trafficking, exploitation of the IPs for terroristic activities were committed inside the facility."