DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A group of volunteer educators who are teaching Lumad children in Mindanao has renewed its call for the immediate release of their colleagues who were accused of being members of the New People’s Army.
Dominiciano Muya and Amelia Pond were Lumad educators who was arrested by authorities in two separate occasions. Muya was a school agriculturist of Salugpungan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center, Inc. in Talaingod, Davao del Norte while Muya, a researcher and educator of the same school was nabbed by authorities in October 2014 in Tagum City.
In a news conference Thursday, the Association for Community Educators has urged the government to release Muya and Pond because the two Lumad educators were elderly and sick.
“They should be released because they are sickly,” Ronnie Garcia, executive director of STTICLCI, said.Garcia noted that Muya and Pond were detained because of “trumped-up charges.”
Muya is currently detained in an isolated prison facility in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Garcia said he is suffering with pneumonia, bronchitis, and was reportedly reinfected again with tuberculosis.
Pond is now under a hospital arrest which Garcia claims that her condition may lead to paralysis due to her poor health condition.
Garcia said that Compostela Valley’s prison facility where Pond was detained provided discomfort to her.
“She [Pond] slept near the comfort room,” he said, adding that Pond is now at Southern Philippines Medical Center under a tight watch of police and military personnel.
Attack on schools
According to Arjay Perez, secretary general of ACE, said volunteer teachers have been offered to transfer to Department of Education public schools.
“Officials of DepEd in the region themselves were stopping us from giving services to the Lumad schools,” Perez said.
He said that it should provide instead a subsidy in terms of “technical support” for their schools.
For his part, Ramel Miguel, chairperson of ACE, has expressed hopes that the attacks against IP schools should end.
“We are really hoping that the harassment will end,” he said.
Per records of Save our Schools Network, from October 2015 to September 2016, the total number of recorded violations reached 61; four cases of military encampment in school.
The group also documented 10 cases of military encampment in the community, five cases of forced evacuation, eight cases of vilification and red-tagging, and 33 cases of threats, harassment and intimidation. (davaotoday.com)