Armed men burn teachers’ cottage of ‘lumad school’
DAVAO CITY – Armed men burned a “teachers’ cottage” of a lumad school in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur on Thursday dawn.
Lorena Durilag, a staff member of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Development (Alcadev) school in the village of Padiay in Sibagat town, said the armed men arrived at 2 a.m. and burned the teacher’s cottage.
Inside the cottage were books, school supplies, sewing machine, rice stock, power generator set and kitchen utensils.
Durilag said the men hurriedly left after setting the cottage on fire.
Alcadev caters to lumad students in remote areas. The military alleged that the school was being used to indoctrinate lumad students in favor of the communist New People’s Army.
The burning happened more than a month after paramilitary men attacked an Alcadev school in Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
On Sept. 1, members of the paramilitary group Magahat-Bagani swooped down the Alcadev compound in Lianga and killed Emerito Samarca, the school’s executive director. In front of residents, who were gathered in a basketball court, the paramilitary men also killed tribal leaders Dionel Campos and Datu Bello Sinzo.
The killings led to the evacuation of at least 3,000 residents in five towns in Surigao del Sur. The evacuees have been staying at the province’s sports complex in Tandag City.
Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel has accused the military of creating, training, funding and arming the paramilitary group, which the Armed Forces of the Philippines denied.
Pimentel said the military created a monster– the Magahat-Bagani — that it could no longer control.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.