By closing Lumad schools, Duterte is teaching Lumads to join the NPA
The CPP joins the Lumad people and their organizations, human rights advocates and other groups in condemnding the order to close 55 Lumad community schools. For years, these schools, supported by various civic organizations, are known to provide basic education services to children in Lumad communities long neglected by the Philippine government, and have earned widespread acclaim for their work.
According to the Department of Education, its order to close these schools was made upon the recommendations of the AFP and Duterte’s national security officers. Military officers have repeatedly made the baseless claim that these Lumad schools serve as “training schools” for the New People’s Army (NPA).
This shows how the policies of the civil bureaucracy are now being hijacked by the military under Duterte’s National Task Force and its obsession with the so-called “whole of nation” counter-insurgency.
However, contrary to the aims of the military, the order to close the community schools will only succeed in further inciting the Lumad people to join the people’s resistance against the tyrannical and fascist Duterte government. It adds to Duterte’s already oppressive anti-Lumad policies such as military occupation of communities, grabbing ancestral lands to pave the way for mining operations and expansion of plantations, and incessant red-tagging of their organizations.
By ordering the closure of these community schools, the Duterte regime is teaching the Lumad people and youth by negative example why the armed struggle is just and why joining the NPA is necessary in their quest for democracy and social justice.