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

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.

Tribal schools suspend classes after lumad boy’s murder

At least four tribal schools in Talaingod, Davao del Norte have suspended classes since last week for fear of more attacks following the January 17 killing of a teenaged lumad student by a member of the military-backed Alamara militia.

The Save Our Schools Network reported Tuesday that the teachers and students of Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center schools in Sitios Laslasakan, Nalubas and Panga-an in Barangay Palma Gil, and Sitio Pongpong in Barangay Dagohoy had decided to stay away since the killing of Alibando Tingkas. Continue reading Tribal schools suspend classes after lumad boy’s murder

Redemptorist priests dismayed by death of student in their lumad school

( Candles lit during an event for lumad schools held last November in Manila. photo by Mark Saludes)

Alibando Tingkas was shot on Jan. 17, becoming the latest victim in a spate of killings of indigenous people in the southern region of Mindanao in recent months.

Figures detailing the exact number of killings of indigenous peoples over the last few months are sketchy but rights groups claim more than 140 people have been killed since the current government came to power.

Continue reading Redemptorist priests dismayed by death of student in their lumad school

Militia leader linked to school leader slay surrenders but gets freed later

(Magahat leader Calpet Egua appears in court where he gets free on bail, photo from Agusan del Sur Philippine National Police)

The highest ranking leader of a “lumad” paramilitary group being held responsible for the killing of a school director and two other lumad leaders in Lianga, Surigao del Sur province, surrendered to police, but for another criminal case.

Datu Calpet Egua, head of the Magahat-Bagani force in the Agusan and Surigao areas, spent barely a day in police custody after he posted bail for a robbery case. Continue reading Militia leader linked to school leader slay surrenders but gets freed later

Salugpongan foundation visitors harassed by Alamara and police checkpoints

(Salugpongan students celebrating their foundation day and Bwalawan Festival with songs)

Last September 28 and 30, some 110 participants to the 11th foundation event of the Salupgongan Community Learning Center were harassed by the paramilitary Alamara and police.

Some 116 participants including students, teachers and parents were on their way to the school’s ceremonies in the Km 30, Barangay Dagohoy, Talaingod when they were blocked by the Alamara and the 68th Infantry soldiers at an army checkpoint at Sitio Daligdigon, Barangay Dagohoy. The participants came from other Salugpongan Centers from Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

Alamara leader Lumansad Sibugan insisted that the contingent had to get the permit from the tribal council before entering Km. 30.

The participants turned back and found another route to Km 30 later in the afternoon where participants held its sports festival and cultural activities for two days.

But on their way home on September 30, the participants were harassed again. A bus that was supposed to fetch the visitors was turned back at a military checkpoint. The contingent waited for hours amidst people suspected as soldiers approaching them and asking them questions and cornering a tribal chieftain for “interrogation”.

The contingent decided to hire jeeps to bring them home but was stopped by another checkpoint near Kapalong, the police cited various violations by the drivers and attempted to impound the jeeps, but stopped after a reporter who phoned a Salugpongan administrator who was among the contingent demanded to interview the police.

The contingent managed to get ‘rescued’ as the SOS fielded vehicles to get them home.

Salugpongan Center’s basic education principal Ronnie Garcia criticized the harassment as part of the attacks on Lumad schools. He said the Salugpongan school’s anniversary events have been peaceful until the soldiers came to their areas in 2013.

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Interaksyon: Alamara militia in Talaingod blocks lumads from Salugpungan rites

Interaksyon: After evading bid to bar them from festival, tribal school teachers, students harassed on way home