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.