Group seeks closure of 9 IP schools in Caraga region
A multisectoral body has stepped up its campaign against nine private schools for indigenous communities in the Caraga region, which the military has tagged as alleged training grounds for communist rebels.
The Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-Elcac) on Tuesday asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to permanently shut down schools under the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (Alcadev) and the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) which, Cabinet Secretary and RTF-Elcac chair Karlo Alexei Nograles said, have refused to be accredited by the DepEd.
In a press release, Col. Maurito Licudine, 402nd Infantry Brigade commander, said closing down these “non-DepEd” schools would mean scuttling their recruitment scheme for the New People’s Army.
Sought for comment, Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, a Manobo leader, condemned what she said were renewed efforts by the government to Red-tag and close down “lumad” schools.
“The TRIFPSS and Alcadev have been bestowed a literacy and numeracy award by the DepEd because they have been proven to be teaching a curriculum based on our culture,” she said.
Cullamat also denounced the use of government resources in the “violence and intimidation” against lumad communities, and deplored the “false allegations” by the 402nd brigade about the schools bringing “conflicts in the communities.”
She instead cited the killing of a lumad leader and Alcadev executive director allegedly by paramilitary troops in 2015.
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