Lawyers and lumad advocates slammed the Philippine National Police for keeping a Bakwit School teacher away from family and lawyers in the past days.
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Why? They had no weapons nor drugs or anything illegal. They were only holding class peacefully. The police called the raid a rescue, but the videos convict the attackers as criminals. That was a scandal of terrifying violence against children.
A group of Manobo evacuees seeking refuge inside the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran compound decried on the repeated accusations of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) that ‘’bakwit schools’ train child warriors and earn profit from taking shelter in the cities to expose their plight in the communities they temporarily left behind.
Datu Benito Bay-ao was one of the Lumad leaders who were taken into custody after that disgraceful raid at the Bakwit School in Cebu City. Just six years ago, Dats Bens (as we call him) spoke with pride and optimism in this documentary about their Lumad school in their village of Dulyan, and across the other upland villages in the Pantaron under the Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon organization. Schooling in the cities made them ashamed of, and forget about, being a Lumad, he said. But with their schools built right in their domain, young Lumad could learn while keeping their tradition alive.
A Lumad student in a Bakwit School in UP Diliman had this response to the recent pronouncement of the Philippine National Police Region 7 that their schools are “training grounds for child warriors.”
Police and social workers in Cebu on Monday took custody of 21 Lumad students and arrested tribal elders and school teachers from their “Bakwit School” in the University of San Carlos Talamban campus, claiming this was a “rescue” from a rebel training school.
The University of the Philippines Mindanao’s Student Council urged its administration to defend its constituents following recent red-tagging incidents against members of the university’s community.
The daughter of Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Eufemia Cullamat was killed in an encounter between the military and guerrilla forces last Saturday in Surigao del Sur.
Church leaders from various denominations in this city celebrate the Mindanao Week of Peace with a joint statement calling for an end of hostilities between government and armed revolutionary groups amid the ongoing pandemic and natural calamities.
The military claimed they captured two volunteer Lumad school teachers in an encounter with guerrilla forces in Paquibato District, a claim disputed by the Save Our Schools Network as another propaganda spin to discredit Lumad schools.