Sara wants 11 Salugpungan schools in Davao closed while a councilor wants it re-opened

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DAVAO CITY — City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio wants the Department of Education to immediately close 11 Salugpungan schools here saying the schools clearly failed to give justice to the sacrifices and dreams of the lumad students.

While Duterte-Carpio wanted it closed, First District Councilor Pamela Librado-Morata wants the schools re-opened, as she urged Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte to intervene.

In a press statement issued on Monday, September 30, Duterte-Carpio stressed that the city government conducted “Due diligence in inquiring into the activities of Salugpungan schools before coming up with a CPOC resolution. The decision was based on facts, not on a whim or rumors as critics and anti-government forces want the public to believe.”

The City Government of Davao on March 19, 2019, through its City Peace and Order Council, submitted a resolution to the Department of Education requesting that the permit to operate possessed by 11 Salugpungan schools in Davao City be terminated and canceled completely.

The resolution stated, “Salugpungan clearly failed to give justice to the sacrifices and dreams of the Lumad students who spent their time with their organization, believing the school will help them better their chances in the future. Salugpungan shall never operate in Davao City again because of this failure and unforgivable injustice.”

Photo Courtesy: SOS Network

The peace body based its resolution on the following grounds:

1. The persistent problem of Salugpungan students not having academic records and individual learner’s reference number. Because of this, the time they spent in Salugpungan could not be properly credited to their academic records with DepEd.

2. The presence of DepEd schools in areas where Salugpungan operates, which overrule the purpose of a Salugpungan school.

Aside from that, Duterte-Carpio said “Davao City has been provided with a written report containing the revelation made by a former Salugpungan student about the school teaching students how to use firearms, apart from them being indoctrinated with anti-government propaganda. This document DID NOT come from Secretary Hermogenes Esperon.”

The city government stressed that Salugpungan schools were shut down in Davao, their former students are now being reintegrated and will receive their regular education from DepEd.

Without naming names, the same statement asked a city councilor ” To first check the facts that form the basis of the request for closure, and not rely on the disinformation fed to her by the Makabayan bloc and its CPP-NPA-NDFP allies.”

On September 24, First District Councilor Pamela Librado-Morata, said Lumad schools under Salugpungan appealed for its re-opening and requested a dialogue with Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, through a letter officially received by the Sangguniang Panlungsod last September 4.

In a privilege speech, Morata claimed “Some of the Lumad students have been displaced from their communities in Talaingod and Kapalong due to the militarization in their community and are staying here in a sanctuary in this city.”

But Talaingod Mayor Onit Libayao said “As pagkakaron wala may ningbakwit nga estudyante diri, niadto man diri si Education Secretary Briones (As of now, we don’t have displaced student, Education Secretary was here).

Tribal leaders who refused to be named said Salugpungan schools in their communities are teaching students the ideology of the terrorist-communist movement, making the lumad children hostage to their cause.

Secretary Leonor Briones listens to IP learner in Talaingod Davao del Norte last month.- Photo COurtesy: PIO DavNor

The network:

In the same statement, Duterte-Carpio said the city government and Davao people are “Witnesses to how the Save Our Schools Network continues to shamelessly lick its wound publicly over the closure of Salugpungan schools.”

“It scampered in obvious panic, but it is relentless in its efforts to sow disinformation about the government and why the closure was enforced,” it added.

Despite claiming poverty, the same network reportedly hosted a concert in Manila — a fundraiser for the so-called students of “bakwit school” or a “school-on-the-run”.

Duterte-Carpio emphasized “But students of bakwit schools are lumad children sprung out by SOS Network from their communities and forcibly brought in to the cities, away from their homes to be used as poster boys and girls in their anti-government agenda.”

Such act, she added a another form of abuse and oppression of Lumad children by a group that feigns being its protectors and defenders.

The statement further said “A bakwit school, just like Salugpungan schools, is useless because it is not and it will never be recognized by DepEd. Yet, in another ploy to solicit pity and money from the public, while advancing their propaganda against the government.”

The Warning

The general public is warned against supporting the deceptive acts and practices of duplicitous groups such as the SOS Network.

“Because the truth is, the money generated from fundraisers supposedly to benefit lumad children does not go to the intended recipients — and instead, it is used to fund anti-government activities that also allow them to continue their oppression of our Lumad communities, especially children,” Duterte-Carpio emphasized.

Librado-Morata even questioned DepEd’s suspension order against Salugpungan, which had complied with the requirements set by the agency.

DepEd, in a previous report, denied claims that the order was “unfair and biased”, adding they had given them the opportunity to defend their side.

The DepEd promised to make public the result of their investigation almost two months after the suspension was ordered.-Editha Z. Caduaya/

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