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Anti-insurgency task force chief: Salugpongan closure ‘appropriate’

The Official of the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict welcomed the Department of Education order shutting down the Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc. in the region.

“That’s the appropriate thing to do,” Maj Gen. Parlade Jr. said in a message to TIMES.

“It’s not about permits or compliance to requirements but the morality of maintaining it knowing that its destroying our indigenous children,” he added.

Parlade added that what Ma. Eugenia Nolasco, the executive director of Salugpongan, failed to mention is that the some of their schools are near the DepEd schools.

“So why maintain an exclusive school for the IPs? Nuanced learning for the IP s or their hidden agenda of radicalization? But actually it is also about the foreign funding these fake advocates of IP concerns are getting, in millions of Euros,” he said.

He also called on the Commission on Human Rights to conduct a deeper probe rather that urge the Department of Education to review its memo.

“Would we rather have suspended education for children but safe from conflict or educated kids but dead or hurt in conflict after being radicalized? We all advocate for human rights, so think about it CHR,” he further said.

The Department of Education (DepEd) XI on Tuesday announced the “total closure” of 55 Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc. in the region.

In a press briefing held Tuesday at its regional office, DepEd Davao spokesperson Jenielito Atillo said the closure order was the result of the investigation conducted by the five-man fact-finding committee, which found “substantial evidence” that the center committed various irregularities and offenses, including non-compliance of the curriculum standards set by the DepEd.

After the investigation, the team found out the following:

a. Salugpongan did not comply with curriculum standards set by DepEd;

b. Salugpongan brought its students away from their home without the consent of their parents and used them to generate funds by making them perform the plights of the Lumad in violation of the DepEd’s child protection policy;

c. Teachers of Salugpongan are not passers of licensure exam for teachers;

d. Salugpongan operates within the ancestral domain of the indigenous peoples (IP) community without obtaining the mandatory consent of the concerned IP communities and certification from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples;

e. Some Salugpongan students did not have Learners Reference Number, in violation under DepEd Order No. 26, 2015;

f. Salugpongan has misrepresented its enrollment data. The data contained in the documents it submitted did not match the data found in the Learners Information System.

Atillo said the Salugpongan even taught its students “Bayang Mahiwaga,” not the “Lupang Hinirang,” as the national anthem, in violation of Sec. 35 of the Republic Act No. 8491.

He said Salugpongan also engaged in historical revisionism. Based on the testimony of Asenad Bago, a former student, the school taught them that a certain Fr. Faustino Victorino is the national hero, supplanting Dr. Jose Rizal.

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