The closure of the Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanunon schools, which were built by missionaries and non-profit organizations in Talaingod, Davao del Norte to seve the lumad children, will be soon executed as recommended by the Davao del Norte schools superintendent Dr. Jospehine Fadul.
The 3 schools serve the Ata-Manobo in the hinterlands of Davao del Norte. Dr. Fadul later reiterated that the recommendation surfaced from the request of the Talaingod Municipal Tribal Council of Leaders.
It can be noted that the said schools were subjects to heavy militarization. Earlier, Save Our Schools (SOS) Network backed the allegations of Ata-Manobo leaders stating that the military had ordered them to burn the schools. The military perpetuated allegations that the teachers in said schools are communist rebel fronts.
Militarization in the area has long been the outcry of the lumads in the area. It can be remembered that last year, hundreds of them fled their homes to escape the abuses said to be executed by the military in the area.
Meanwhile, a new public high school is proposed to be opened in Butay, Talaingod, Davao del Norte, which will have para-teachers from the military.
The move of DepED has been criticized by various groups in the country. The League of Filipino Students – Southern Mindanao Region has been vocal in condemning the move of DepEd and the 68th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
They have been organizing mobilization programs to halt the said recommendation. A march against the schools’ closure, and other subsequent programs, are set to be executed by various groups today, June 1.
In the House of Representatives, Representative Terry Ridon, Kabataan Party-list Representative, earlier said that he will be filing a resolution ordering an investigation for the closure of the tribal schools. Ridon is vocal in denouncing the systematic attacks in lumad schools.