SOS condemns suspension order against Lumad schools
STUDENTS AND TEACHERS of Lumad schools under the Save Our Schools (SOS) Network protested in front of the headquarters of the Department of Education in Pasig City on July 17 to condemn its attempt to order the closure of Lumad schools in Mindanao. In particular, they criticized its suspension of 55 schools of the Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc. in compliance with the order of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr.
The Save Our Schools (SOS) recorded that 215 schools in Mindanao have been forcibly closed since 2016. Eighty schools closed down due to military occupation in communities and systematic attacks and destruction of facilities by soldiers.
Duterte has long accused Salugpongan and other Lumad schools of being schools operated by the New People’s Army. In his second State of the Nation Address in 2017, he even threatened to bomb the said schools. This year, 30 Lumad schools were closed wherein 1,300 students were compelled to stop schooling due to relentless military attacks.
The CPP stated that the DepEd order manifests how the military controls the policy issuances of civilian agencies. It added that this adds to the anti-Lumad policies of the Duterte regime including the grabbing of ancestral lands for conversion into mining and plantation uses.