- in Philippines

Mayor Inday Sara has issued a resolution to the Department of Education to request that 11 Salugpungan schools in Davao City have their permits to operate be terminated and canceled immediately.

The City Government of Davao’s City Peace and Order Council transmitted the resolution on March 19, 2019. According to a post on the official page of the City Government of Davao, this resolution was based on two items.

1. The persistent problem of Salugpungan students not having academic records and individual learner’s reference number. Because of this, the time they spent in Salugpungan could not be properly credited to their academic records with DepEd.

2. The presence of DepEd schools in areas where Salugpungan operates, which overrule the purpose of a Salugpungan school.

Salugpungang schools are supposedly meant to give educational opportunities to Indigenous children, but in practice, they have been used by the New People’s Army to brainwash children into joining the communist insurgency.

The Davao City Government provided the DepEd with a written report containing the testimony of a former Salugpungan student about how the school taught pupils how to use firearms. Besides that, the curriculum was revealed to include anti-government propaganda. The post further clarified that the document did not come from Secretary Hermogenes Esperon.

The post also clarified that the City Government conducted its due diligence in investigating the supposed activities of Salugpungan schools within the city before sending the CPOC resolution. The City defends that the decision was based on facts, not rumors.

According to the post, the “Salugpungan clearly failed to give justice to the sacrifices and dreams of the Lumad students who spent their time with their organization, believing the school will help them better their chances in the future. Salugpungan shall never operate in Davao City again because of this failure and unforgivable injustice. “

Former students of the shutdown schools are not being reintegrated into the DepEd’s schools and will begin to receive a regular education.

The post ended with a warning against propaganda campaigns twisting the true purpose of these schools and changing the narrative to be that the government is anti-IP

“In another note, we are witnesses to how the Save Our Schools Network continues to shamelessly lick its wound publicly over the closure of Salugpungan schools.

It scampered in obvious panic, but it is relentless in its efforts to sow disinformation about the government and why the closure was enforced.

It even hosted a concert in Manila — a fundraiser for the so-called of “bakwit school” or a “school-on-the-run”.

But students of bakwit schools are lumad children sprung out by SOS Network from their communities and forcibly brought in to the cities, away from their homes to be used as poster boys and girls in their anti-government agenda.

It is clearly another form of abuse and oppression of Lumad children by a group that feigns being its protectors and defenders.

A bakwit school, just like Salugpungan schools, is useless because it is not and it will never be recognized by DepEd.

A bakwit school is yet another ploy to solicit pity and money from the public, while advancing their propaganda against the government.”

The general public is warned against the “deceptive acts and practices of duplicitous groups such as the SOS Network”.

In July this year, IP tribe leaders called for the DepEd to revoke the operating permits of the Salugpongan Ta’tanu Igkanugon Community (Salugpungan).

“Dapat ipaliwanag ng Salugpungan bakit ‘yung mga bata may sarili silang kinakantang national anthem, at kung bakit din sila tinuturuan mag-dismantle ng armas. Di pa sila nagpapaliwanag until now,” said Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Conference for Peace and Development (MIPCPD) chairman Datu Lipatuan Joel A. Unad.

The money donated by good-hearted citizens is not actually reaching the lumad children they want to support. Instead, it is being used to fund anti-government activities. The recipients are only touched by these funds through the Salugpungan schools which actually steal their future. The oppression continues as children are given no choice but to be indoctrinated into the communist movement and treated as the property of the NPA.

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