Military won’t destroy Lumad schools—Padilla
The military on Friday said it won’t bomb Lumad schools following President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to destroy these structures that are violating laws for allegedly spreading subversive ideas.
Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, said Duterte was only sending a “very strong message” against illegal educational centers teaching children to rebel against the government.
“Actually, kinakailangan mainintidihan niyo po ‘yung pananalita ng ating mahal na Pangulo. Binanggit niya po ‘yun pero hindi naman po talagang gagawin ‘yun na bobombahin mo ‘yung eskwelahan dahil may mga bata pa diyan ‘no,” Padilla said during the Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacanang.
(You have to really understand the real message behind the statement of our beloved President. He had mentioned that but that doesn’t mean we are really going to bomb these schools because there are children there)
During the press conference after the second State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, Duterte said he would bomb Lumad schools teaching subversive ideas to its students.
“Kasi eskwelahan nila, but they are teaching subversion, communism, lahat na. So umalis kayo diyan. Sabihin ko diyan sa mga Lumad ngayon, umalis kayo diyan. Bobombahan ko ‘yan. Isali ko ‘yang mga istruktura ninyo,” Duterte said.
(Because their school, they are teaching subversion, communism and all. So better get out of there. I will tell the Lumad people to get out of there. I will destroy that including your structures)
But Duterte clarified his statement on Thursday, saying he had no plans to kill Lumad children but only wanted to “destroy” schools without government permits.
“Wala akong sinabi na bombahan ko ‘yang may tao kaya sinabi ko umalis kayo diyan. Ibig sabihin, sisirain ko ‘yan because you are using a school without a license from the Department of Education,” Duterte said.
(I did not say that I will bomb it with people inside that’s why I said stay away from there. That means I will destroy it)
No bombing of Lumad schools
Padilla said Duterte was only warning illegal Lumad schools spreading subversive ideas.
“It was just a matter of strongly communicating a strong position on behalf of government to warn these illegal educational centers (that) are not complying with government regulation,” Padilla said.
“That is how we understood the President and that is how we see and appreciate his comments regarding this. Not intended to really destroy the community but to extend a message, a very strong message, to the people behind the organization of this illegal learning institutions to comply with government regulation,” the AFP official added.
But the military official said government troops won’t bomb these schools.
“So kung ano man ang hakbang na kailangan gawin ng ating Armed Forces, gagawin natin ‘to pero hindi sa ganun klaseng paraan (So, whatever steps the Armed Forces need to do, we will do it but not in this kind of way),” he said.
He said “the reason why the Department of Education is regulating the way we teach in schools is to make it comply and conform with the value system that we want our citizens to learn.”
“Now, it is not bad to teach communism per se because we in college learned about it. We read books about Marxism, Leninism, Socialism, and the like. And it’s part of liberal education. So teaching it,” he said.
“But if you target very young minds, vulnerable minds and try to sway them to a certain kind of thinking, that is like brainwashing. ‘Yun po ang mali dito (That one is wrong),” he added. JPV
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