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

Lumads’ plight moves Vagina Monologue playwright Eve Ensler to tears

Eve Ensler, founder of One Billion Rising global campaign turns emotional after hearing the stories of the Lumad evacuees inside the evacuation center at a church compound in Davao City on Friday, February 12. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com) Continue reading Lumads’ plight moves Vagina Monologue playwright Eve Ensler to tears

Alamara attacks drive 300 Manobos out of Talaingod

“Tell Ma’am Lolit that in five days, teachers of Salugpongan should leave this school, because when I return and you are still here, I will do what I have warned you before.”

These were the words of paramilitary Alamara member ‘Ang-angoy’ Butanlog, which he uttered in front of teachers and 15 students at the Salugpongan Learning Center in Sitio Nasilaban, Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod last December 11. Continue reading Alamara attacks drive 300 Manobos out of Talaingod

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

SOS Network condemns killing of 15-year old lumad student in Talaingod

The Save Our Schools Network condemns in strongest terms the killing of a 15-year old Salugpongan student in Talaingod, Davao del Norte on Sunday reportedly committed by the paramilitary Alamara.

Based on reports from the community, Alibando Tingkas, 15 years old, a grade 3 student of Salugpongan School in Talaingod was reportedly killed in Sitio Laslasakan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod.

“We are enraged and saddened by this incident. The paramilitary group and their military cohorts will not stop from attacking and even killing lumads in the name of their counter-insurgency operations, even children are not spared anymore” said Rius Valle, spokesperson of the SOS Network in Southern Mindanao

Continue reading SOS Network condemns killing of 15-year old lumad student in Talaingod

Salugpungan students continue schooling in Haran in fourth month

(MISIF teacher Ricky Balilid in a makeshift class with Salugpongan’s Manobo students. Photo by Erwin Mascarinas)

How are the lumad students doing inside their refuge shelter in UCCP Haran for the fourth straight month?

In this series of photos and interviews, photojournalist Erwin Mascarinas shows images of some of the 230 Manobo students between pre-school to grade six and interviews with two teachers from Salugpungan Learning Center and MISFI Academy who are among the mentors assigned to continue the education for these children.

“Teaching in the evacuation center is really a hard and huge challenge for us, but as a lumad myself, it’s an honor to teach and help the children learn more and be educated,” said Charlene Sawit, a Salugpongan teacher.

A student express hope that they may return to their community and school with the military and paramilitary out from their sight.

“It’s hits hard when we see armed men come to our village, and then some of them stay right inside our school ground. We hope that our hardship will end soon, and we can go back in peace to our village,” said one of the students.

read and see more photos here Interaksyon : 4th month for lumad refugees at UCCP Haran; kids attend makeshift school