DAVAO CITY – The Manobo community of Talaingod, Davao del Norte ended their camp-in protest at the Department of Education after the permits of their community schools were partially released. But they still fear threats from soldiers and paramilitary once they go back.
Manobo leader Datu Doloman Dawsay said they will be staying in a church compound here in Davao City “until all permits are released and all soldiers and paramilitary troops in Talaingod are pulled out.”
“That is why we evacuated here a month ago, even before the threats of DepEd to close our schools,” he added.
Dawsay urged DepEd and other local officials to order the pull out of troops from Talaingod so that they can return to their normal lives.
Dawsay said students under the Salugpongan Community Learning Center (STTICLC) are currently holding classes in makeshift classrooms inside the church compound.
“The permit is never enough to protect our children from military attacks. We still urge (DepEd regional director Atty. Alberto Escobarte) to hear our complaints and conduct investigations,” Dawsay said
Meanwhile, SOS Network spokesperson Rius Valle said that they have received reports saying that parents and students in Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental were told not to enroll in Salugpongan “or else their support from the government’s 4Ps (conditional cash transfer) program will be discontinued.”
They also received reports saying that only three students have enrolled in STTICLC School in Sitio Tibucag, Barangay Dagohoy, Talaingod due to militarization.
Rius said some schools under construction, including one in Barangay Mascareg in Mabini town in Compostela Valley Province were occupied by soldiers.(davaotoday.com)