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!


Education is a basic human right and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. It is one of the important pillars for the holistic development of children. Quality education helps foster their intellectual and physical capacities as well as their socio-emotional well-being as they develop to become active contributors in society.

The right to education has been explicitly enshrined in various international laws including Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 13 and 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Universally speaking, the right to education must be primarily ensured by the state. In the Philippines, the constitution and local policies promise the promotion and protection of the right of every Filipino, especially children, to education by taking all appropriate steps in making education accessible.

However, most Filipino children have been deprived of this right primarily due to the government’s meager budget allocation and privatization of education. Marginalized peasants and indigenous peoples are the ones far more neglected. The historic abandonment of the government in providing education to the poor and marginalized has pushed lumad communities in Mindanao to persevere in order to educate themselves and their children.

In partnership with different cause-oriented organizations and church institutions, the lumad communities set up their own schools. In Mindanao, there are already 146 lumad community schools that provide education to indigenous communities in Mindanao.

However, in addition to the neglect of the government in ensuring the children’s access to quality education, lumad community schools and public schools (day care, elementary and high schools) located in the hinterlands are now facing the terror brought by military operations under the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan.


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

Salugpongan teacher illegally arrested, charged by CIDG

Amelia Pond, a Salugpongan Learning Center teacher and coordinator of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Southern Mindanao was illegally arrested during the RMP National Assembly on August 19 by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Cebu City on trumped-up charges of murder and frustrated murder.

Last October 16, 2014, Dominiciano Muya, an agriculturist/teacher of Salugpongan Center was illegally arrested by combined forces of CIDG and AFP in Davao del Norte. He was charged with trumped-up cases of murder and frustrated murder, robbery and damage to properties and is currently detained in Bukidnon.

We condemn the illegal arrests and attacks on community teachers. They are teachers, not killers!

Lumad school head exposes intel harassment on family

(Story originally posted on
(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/

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

Dear President Duterte, Let Mindanawons march with you this SONA

On July 18, 3,000 Mindanao Lumad, farmers, Moro, workers and activists embarked on a Manilakbayan (caravan) to take part in President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25. This is the first time that a significant contingent from Mindanao will be taking part in the SONA event in Manila.

Today marks the third day of our Manilakbayan and we are currently in Tacloban.  With each day, hundreds more are expected to join our caravan.  Most have come from the countryside, victims of continuing militarization and human rights violations. They hope that the Duterte government will hear their cries and address their grievances.

With hope in our hearts, we’re now travelling across the country to witness Duterte’s SONA and appeal to him to hear our plea for change.

Continue reading Dear President Duterte, Let Mindanawons march with you this SONA

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.

Classes in Talaingod, Surigao face threat of militarization, says SOS

Classes for Lumad children back in their communities in Talaingod are under threat of being disrupted by soldiers and paramilitary groups encamped in their communities.

The Save Our Schools Network Southern Mindanao said there were reported coming from teachers of Salugpongan Community Learning Center that they were warned by the community not to proceed to Sitio Piroy, Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod as soldiers from 68th Infantry Battalion together with members of Lumad militia group Alamara are currently staying and encamping within the community which is within close perimeter of the school.

“Two teachers from Salugpongan are still staying in Sitio Tibucag, Brgy. Dagohoy since Lumad leaders told them not to proceed due to the presence of the military and Alamara in Sitio Piroy” said Valle.

Valle added that soldiers and Lumad militias have been there for about a week now.  Continue reading Classes in Talaingod, Surigao face threat of militarization, says SOS