SOS urges DepEd to protect Lumad schools as peace talks collapse

The Save Our Schools Network urges the Department of Education to protect the Lumad schools in light of President Duterte’s proclamation of terminating peace talks with the NDF and the intensified military operations to come.

We join the Lumad students, teachers and parents in raising concern on the cancellation of talks as this signals the intensifying militarization in our communities and our perpetual displacement.

Time and again Lumad communities are not spared from military occupation and harassment since July 2016. There are 2,200 students and teachers in Lumad communities in Mindanao who were victims of harassment, and 39 Lumad schools that are forced to close down. Lumads are vilified by the military as sympathizers of the New People’s Army without proof.

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SOS Southern Mindanao Statement on Universal Children’s Day

On the Universal Children’s Day, the Save Our Schools Network Southern Mindanao reiterates its call for education officials to act now to protect the Lumad schools in Mindanao under attacks.

On this day, we call out the Department of Education to turn their words into action.

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Fierce attacks on lumad schools under Duterte’s first year

Almost one year into the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, we thought change had come for the Lumads who finally went home from the sanctuary of UCCP Haran to their communities holding on Duterte’s promise of peace.

But the lumads and their children still encounter the same threats that drove them out in the past three years.  The paramilitary Alamara has constantly harassed teachers and students in Talaingod and Alamara.  Soldiers have encamped in the schools of Salugpongan Community Learning Center and MISFI Academy all across Davao Region.

There have been 39 of these cases under Duterte’s first year in the presidency from July 1 up to the present.

Meanwhile, a senior school teacher, Amelia Pond of Salugpongan, was arrested last August and is facing trumped up charges of murder.

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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.

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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.

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).

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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.

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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)
Statement
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).

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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 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.

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