‘Dear Digong': Lumad children write letters to the President before the SONA

“Please end Martial Law”.

This is the common appeal from letters written by Lumad school children addressed to President Duterte before his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 24.

The Lumad children, mostly coming from Talaingod, Kapalong and Surigao del Sur, appeal to the President to lift Martial Law in Mindanao as it also intensifies the militarization of their communities and schools.

Duterte declared Martial Law in the Mindanao island on May 23 to fight the alleged ISIS-inspired Maute group spotted in Marawi City.
Some 300 Lumad students and parents are in Manila at a Kampuhan at UP Diliman to take part of the People’s SONA led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan which will raise issues on human rights violations happening in the country.

Click for more stories here:





Salugpongan teacher survives strafing incedent

Salugpongan teacher Ramel Miguel survived an attack by a paramilitary Alamara member last June 20 in Sitio Nasilaban.

The suspect, Rodel Angngangoy Butanlog barged into the school and threatened Miguel after the teacher filed a blotter on Butanlog’s recent harassment against him. Angered, Butanlog fired indiscriminately.  Salugpongan students quickly covered Miguel and everyone ran for safety, but one student was grazed in his private part during the incident.

Continue reading Salugpongan teacher survives strafing incedent

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.

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

Lumad and Community Educators: Free Our Teachers on World Teachers Day!

Today, as the world commemorates  the world teachers day, Lumad school teachers and members of the Association of Community Educators, strongly demand the immediate release of Lumad school teacher and personnel Amelia B. Pond and Agriculturist Dominiciano Muya.

Pond is  a teacher and researcher  of Salugpongan  Learning Center  was illegally arrested last August 19, 2016 in Cebu City by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group operatives. She is charged with the trumped-up cases of murder/frustrated murder. She was arrested by  the CIDG by  alleging that she is a certain “Adelfa Toledo”.

Pond is the Regional Coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) and a researcher of Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) and is also an active member of ACE and actively participates in all activities which promotes community educators’ rights and welfare.

Teacher Amy, has long been committed in the campaign for Education For All (EFA) and Indigenous People’s Education (IPEd).

Continue reading Lumad and Community Educators: Free Our Teachers on World Teachers Day!

Lumads troop DepEd to seek help for arrested teacher

(photo from Atenews/ Ram Manlatican)

DAVAO CITY – Some 400 lumad indigenous people from different communities in Southern Mindanao together with the administration of Salugpongan School urged the Department of Education Region XI to demand the pull-out of military troops in indigenous people’s schools.

Military encampment in schools, communities and other public places is prohibited by law thus, Deped shall assert this to protect the students, teachers and villagers.

Salugpongan also calls for DepEd to help in the immediate release Amelia Pond.

Amelia Pond, who was illegally arrested last August 19 in Cebu City was Salugpongan’s Curriculum Development researcher since 2008. Later in 2013 she became the regional coordinator of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines.

Continue reading Lumads troop DepEd to seek help for arrested teacher

Rural Missionaries condemn arrest of Salugpongan teacher Ammy Pond

(Salugpongan Learning Center Ronie Garcia, left, with members of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines visited Teacher ‘Ammy’ Amelia Pond (in blue shirt) at the Camp Sotero Cabahug in Cebu City)
August 19, 2016

Rural Missionaries condemn the arrest of its Southern Mindanao region Coordinator

The women and men, priests, clergy and lay workers of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) denounced the illegal arrest and detention of Amelia Pond, 64 years old, Regional Coordinator of RMP Southern Mindanao Region and a teacher and research-documentation officer of Salugpongan Schools in the region. The incident happened today August 19 at 12noon while on her way out from the Living the Gospel Renewal Center after attending the 3-day RMP National Assembly in Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City.

“We condemn this attack on Ms. Amelia as this is harassment to us supporters of the farmers and indigenous people in the countryside under the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan,” stated by Sr. Francis Anover, RSM of RMP.

RMP SMR just like any other regions in Mindanao was known for supporting and helping the Lumad people to build schools. But these Lumad were also primarily target of military and para-military attacks that resulted to increasing numbers of human rights violation and bakwet (evacuees).

Continue reading Rural Missionaries condemn arrest of Salugpongan teacher Ammy Pond

Lumad school head exposes intel harassment on family

(Story originally posted on DavaoToday.com)
(Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center Incorporated Executive Director Ronnie Garcia decries the threats he got from an alleged army intelligence agent. He said the school and their teachers have been tagged as an NPA school even before he formally started teaching in 2011. (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com))

DAVAO CITY— A Lumad school administrator accuse the Army of sending intelligence agents to harass him by “visiting” him and his family.

Ronnie Garcia, executive director of the Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) said they saw suspicious men in the Davao Regional Hospital in Barangay Apokon, Tagum City where they were attending to his sick grandfather morning of July 24.

Continue reading Lumad school head exposes intel harassment on family

Actress Jodi Sta. Maria visits lumads in Haran

(published in SunStar Davao July 25, 2016)

IT WAS not the first time that the Lumads at UCCP Haran Center was visited by a star.

Still, many of them were star-struck when Jodi Sta. Maria (or more known with her screen name as “Amor Powers” in one of her teleseryes) walked in with a smile for everyone.

She also visited the children in their makeshift classrooms, and personally gave them bags and school supplies.

“Huwag niyong hayaan na makuha ‘yung pag-asa na nasa puso ninyo, yong pangarap na isang araw babalik kayo sa lupa ninyo. ‘yun ang huwag niyong i-give up (Don’t let them take the hope in your heart that one day you will be back to your land, never give it up),” was Ms. Jodi’s inspiring message to the Lumad kids.

Continue reading Actress Jodi Sta. Maria visits lumads in Haran

MISFI teachers flee from Alamara in Paquibato

Two teachers of the MISFI Academy in Brgy. Tapak, Paquibato District were forced to close the school and leave the community last July 7 after receiving threats from the paramilitary Alamara.

According to the teachers Jun Villasorda and Chavez Paterno Jr. the community members told them to leave immediately fearing retaliation from the Alamara members whose leader Ruben Lubawan was murdered in Panabo. Alamara members alleged the teachers were sympathetic to the New People’s Army.

The teachers had to trek for several hours through a different route for their safety. They received word from the community leaders in Tapak that Alamara leader Boris Cayuga warned the community they will burn the school and the teachers’ cottage, and hang the MISFI teachers if they plan to go back to the community.

Villasorda said in his statement he is dismayed by the Alamara’s red-tagging against them and the MISFI Academy and is concerned that classes have been disrupted for the children who have long been deprived of education from the government.

The Save Our Schools Network joins the MISFI Academy in calling out to President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Education to look into this continuing attacks by the paramilitary against lumad community schools.

We continue our call to stop the attacks on schools.

Bakwit Brigada Eskwela campaign gets warm support

Our thanks to various institutions and individuals who responded to the Bakwit Brigada Eskwela campaign last June 1 to 8 through donating schools supplies and other needs to the lumad children bakwits who are starting this school year in the evacuation centers, as their communities remain unsafe with the presence of the military and para-military. Continue reading Bakwit Brigada Eskwela campaign gets warm support