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On World Teachers’ Day, freedom for teacher Amelia Pond raised


MANILA – The Save Our Schools Network calls for the immediate release of detained Lumad school teacher and rural missionary coordinator Amelia Pond in a rally in front of the Department of Justice in commemoration World Teacher’s Day, today, October 5, 2016.

The rally gathered lumad-children and students’ rights advocates who believed the arrest of Pond was illegal and an attempt by desperate elements from the military to vilify teachers who are serving the lumad communities.

Pond, 64, is a teacher for the Salugpongan Community Learning Center serving Talaingod and other rural-lumad communities in Mindanao. He has been with Salugpongan since 2008 and took part of the formulation of the national indigenous people’s education curriculum of the Department of Education.

Pond was illegally arrested last August 19 in Cebu City after attending a Rural Missionaries of the Philippines’ assembly. Her arrest was based on a warrant named after Adelfa Toledo.

SOS Southern Mindanao spokesperson Rius Valle said the government must show its sincerity to change by releasing Pond.

“Her contribution in the education sector is monumental for devoting her time to develop a culture-friendly curriculum for lumad learners. Yet, the state’s security forces continue to undermine the efforts of the lumads to attain their right to education by suppressing the continuing operation of lumad schools in Mindanao through filing of trumped-up cases” Valle added.

“On this day, as we commemorate the World Teachers Day, we call on the Justice Secretary to review Pond’s case and order her immediate release as from the beginning the arrest was illegal and did not follow due process” said Valle.

“Being a lumad teacher recently have been a risky profession. Showing compassion and teaching lumad children how to read and write is a threat among some who continue to spread terror and has economic interest in Lumad’s ancestral lands. One of the most disturbing case was of Amelia Pond” Valle added.

Valle is urgently calling for a dialogue with the Department of Justice for this matter.

“We urgently call the attention of the secretary as our teacher is detained while suffering sickness due to her old age. She needs to be release as soon as possible” he concluded.

Valle is urgently calling for a dialogue with the Department of Justice for this matter.

“We urgently call the attention of the secretary as our teacher is detained while suffering sickness due to her old age. She needs to be release as soon as possible” he said.