“May Martial Law ba sa Sultan Kudarat? In true Marcosian fashion, the Sultan Kudarat local government vilified and threatened Lumad school teachers and volunteers, forcing them to close down their schools. We call on the Department of Education to do what it can to ensure that these schools are able to provide much needed services to indigenous Manobo communities in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat and that the safety of students and teachers are not compromised.”
Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas as she joined the Save Our Schools network in a picket at the Department of Education today.
Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat Mayor Abubacar “Bakre” Maulana has repeatedly accused the Lumad schools operated by CLANS of being “NPA schools” since October 11, 2016. In a community meeting, Maulana ordered the closure of the community schools and accused teachers of being members of the New People’s Army. He further threatened the teachers that they will be arrested if they continue teaching in their communities. Maulana also offered community members a Php 5,000 reward to those who can provide pictures of the teachers and administrative staff of CLANS.
It was reported that local DepEd official Puja Acob participated in the said meeting, which led to the closure of 18 schools affecting over 1,000 students.
“Why are DepEd officials participating in acts that run counter to its mandate to ensure that Filipino children are given the education that they need?” asked Brosas.
“We deplore this outright deprivation of the Lumad children’s right to education even as we commemorate Children’s Month this November. We call on DepEd Secretary Briones to make the necessary interventions to help ensure that the Lumad schools resume its operations.”
Gabriela solons Brosas and Emmi De Jesus along with the rest of the Makabayan bloc are co-authors of a House Resolution of probe the harassment and vilification of CLANS schools and teachers in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat. #