Lumad school backers vow to fight legal battle vs DepEd closure order
MANILA, Philippines—Officials and supporters of lumad schools would exhaust all legal means to overturn the closure order issued by the Department of Education (DepEd) on the schools in the Davao Region.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said individuals and groups supporting the lumad schools would run to the Supreme Court if it that’s what it would take to reopen schools for children of indigenous peoples in Mindanao.
The House Makabayan bloc condemned the DepEd closure order as “baseless” and “politically motivated.”
The DepEd ordered the permanent closure of 55 schools operated by Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc for allegedly teaching “Left-leaning ideology.”
Officials of Salugpongan are currently consulting their lawyers, Zarate said.
Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, a lumad, described the closure order as a “huge injustice” to young lumad. She said there was no due process observed.
“We have the right to establish our own system of education and institution that is appropriate to our cultural sensitivities and ways of living,” said Cullamat, a member of the Manobo tribe.
Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago said the closure order was an “attack onb lumad’s right to self-determination and education.”
“We call on DepEd to take back the closure order and address the problems of basic education instead of closing down schools and wasting time parroting the military,” Elago said./TSB
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