“Walang klase – sa mga paaralang tinamaan ng patuloy na militarisasyon,” Kabataan Party-list representative Sarah Elago said.
Kabataan Party-list joins youth groups and Mindanao community organizations today in calling for the recognition of Lumad schools, and for an end to Duterte’s threats of a crackdown and revolutionary government.
Lumad groups from different community schools under the Save Our Schools Network (SOS) have been camping in front of the Department of Education (DepEd) national office since November 16.
“Up until now, they can’t go home due to the constant threat of martial law and military presence in their area. Schools in these areas have already suspended classes or even closed down for a while. Things are exacerbated due to DepEd’s Memo Order No. 221 s. 2013 allows military troops to set up camp in school grounds,” Elago said.
“Duterte’s directive to “bomb the Lumad schools” due to purportedly not having permits does not help. The DepEd seems to ride in to Duterte’s propaganda machine by reporting that these schools have no permits while seemingly delaying these schools’ applications for one.
The group also slammed Duterte’s threats of a crackdown on legal organizations, stressing that the far-flung communities where these Lumad schools stand are expected to be doubly hit by this.
“In Duterte’s “revolutionary government” fantasy, the crackdown wishes to hit on legal organizations merely stressing their calls for democratic rights. Expect this to impinge once again upon the national minorities’ rights to self-education and schooling. It is ironic that the state and past regimes are angry at the Lumads for building these schools, something they have long neglected to do,” Elago said.
The Filipino youth and the people will not stand idly at these threats. We call on DepEd Secretary Briones to hold a dialogue and talk to the Lumad children who are literally at her doorstep. As we call on DepEd and Duterte to recognize the Lumad and other national minorities’ right to schooling and struggle for peace, we won’t think twice in blocking US-Duterte regime fascist maneuvers to push another Marcosian era of dictatorship,” Elago concluded.
After the protest today, there will be an integration workshopin the afternoon and a solidarity night after. ###