Save Our Schools Network Unity Statement on President Duterte’s Threat to Bomb Lumad Schools

The Save Our Schools (SOS) network, a network of children’s rights and human rights advocates advocating for the lumad children’s right to education and right to self-determination, strongly condemn President Rodrigo Duterte’s post State of the Nation Address (SONA) statement that threatened to bomb lumad schools in Mindanao.

We, in the SOS network, has actively campaigned against military attacks on schools during the Aquino administration where lumad schools in Mindanao were viciously attacked and somewhere forcibly closed due to intensified militarization. Lumad leaders and educators were vilified, threatened and killed. The massare in Lianga, Surigao del Sur in 2015 wherein two lumad leaders, Bello Sinzo and Dionel Campos and ALCADEV executive director Emerito Samarca where killed and still has not found justice almost two years after.

When he was still a mayor of Davao City, President Duterte openly criticized the AFP who were using schools and other public places as posts or barracks. But his statement after his second SONA clearly contradicted his previous support for lumads and showed his prostration to AFP.

President Duterte  openly declared a war against lumad people. He, as the president, vilified and red-tagged lumad schools as schools of the New People’s Army (NPA). True enough, AFP trained, funded and armed paramilitary group Alamara harassed at least four lumad schools in Mindanao the following day.  Duterte’s statements were clearly taken  as a marching order by his lapdogs in the AFP, continuing and intensifying attacks on lumad schools, communities and peoples. Continue reading Save Our Schools Network Unity Statement on President Duterte’s Threat to Bomb Lumad Schools

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