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Salugpongan may sue DepEd

The Salugpongan may sue officials of the Department of Education (DepED) over the alleged biased and partial results of investigation that led to the “total closure” of 54 Salugpongan schools.

Meggie Nolasco, executive director of the Salugpongan Schools, said their lawyers are studying the possibility of filing a case for grave abuse of discretion before the Ombudsman.

Likewise, they are set to file an injunction before the court to block the DepEd from implementing the order.

Officials of Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center, Inc. and the Save our Schools (SOS) Network along with other progressive groups held a protest action yesterday at the Freedom Park to condemn the action of the DepEd.

“We strongly condemn the resolution of the DepEd ordering the closure of the Salugpongan schools that serve the Lumad students who are not served by the agency,” Nolasco said.

According to her, DepEd has further deprived the students in the farthest skirts of the country by not providing public schools in the area and by closing the Salugpongan schools, which supposedly serve the underserved.

“There are no DepEd schools in the location of the Salugpongan schools and instead of recognizing the Salugpongan, they ordered it closed,” Nolasco said.

Nolasco said that the DepEd and the military could not provide a strong evidence on the allegations that Salugpongan teaches students of dismantling arms, and other revolutionary actions.

The SOS also joins other progressive groups in condemning the decision of the DepEd.

According to the SOS, “We are enraged over the decision of the DepEd Region XI to permanently shut down the Lumad community schools based on the malicious and false claims of the military.”

“The Department of Education (DepEd) ordered the closure of our schools on the false grounds and faulty logic of National Security Adviser Esperon Jr.,” the group added.

Nolasco added that the investigation conducted by the DepEd XI was unreliable because the team did not even visit the exact location of schools.

“The ‘fact-finding team’ failed to even visit one of the 54 Salugpungan schools to check on the accusations. They only set foot on Nasilaban, Talaingod but did not proceed to the schools. Basically, no investigation that took place,” SOS said in a statement.

The Department of Education (DepEd) XI on Tuesday announced the “total closure” of all Salugpongan schools – 55 in their tally – in the region.

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