From our RMP staff of the Salugpungan schools, reports reached us that elements from the 68th IBPA instructed Datu Ginom and other local chieftains in a gathering at a DepEd school instructing them “Sunugon na ninyo dapat kanang eskwelahan, kay mao kana sa komunista’”[The soldier told us, “You should burn that school down, because it is run by communists.”] Datu Ginom and the other chieftains replied, Ay dili namo na buhaton, kay kani nga eskwelahan maoy naghatag edukasyon, nya libre pa jud, wa ka lain bayaran,” Ginom said.[We replied, “We won’t do that, because this school gave us education that is for free, we don't have to pay for anything].
Apart from the efforts to burn down the schools, Ginom also said that the military told them to kill the teachers of the Salugpungan, should they come for the upcoming classes.“Kung naa daw muabot na teacher gikan sa Salugpungan, patyon daw namo, kay sa NPA daw ang eskwelahan, ang teacher kuno kay NPA,” Ginom added.[They said, if a teacher from Salugpungan arrives, we would have to kill them, because the school is owned by the NPA and the teachers are NPA themselves.]
In addition, DepEd’s school’s Division Superintendent Dr. Josephine Fadul said in a letter requesting the closure of the schools being operated by the Salugpungan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC). Several times, our staff complained at the DepEd Division office about the serious cases of military atrocities including threats, harassments and encampment against our schools, but never took a decisive step to address our concerns. She seems to be too comfortable that she did not even take action when some schools in her area of responsibility are being encamped by the military. In that similar letter also revealed ….”requests permission to put up a high school in Butay Talaingod instead and utilize the military as para-teachers as previously discussed and agreed upon in our meeting with the Regional Intelligence Committee April 23, 2015.”
With this development, RMP strongly condemns this continued militarization of our Salugpungan schools and opposes the recommendation for its closure by this gun-powdered minded Superintendent. The opening of classes is just few days from now, but it seems bleak, as state forces continually threaten our staff and destroys the school structure. When asked earlier, Fadul evaded to divulge pertinent information concerning our schools and failed to consider the interest of the pupils/students, the teachers and the indigenous communities who are greatly affected by her recommendation. It is disgusting and a mindless move from a supposed educator to work with the Regional Intelligence Committee and to use the military personnel as para-teachers.
Stop military encampment in our Lumad schools!
No to closure of our Salugpungan schools!
Pull out Fadul as Division Superintendent !
The RMP is a national organization, inter-congregational and inter-diocesan in character, of women and men religious, priests and lay. We live and work with the peasants (farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers).