Tags: attacks on schools

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL Bulatlat.com MANILA — Even schools are being used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines for its counterinsurgency operations. The Department of Education’s Schools Division Superintendent Mary A. Lang-ayan issued a memorandum last June 26 to all school heads of public elementary and high schools in Baguio City. The memorandum…

Wearing Manobo-designed vestments adorned with colorful bead necklaces and earrings, 24 graduating indigenous youth proudly marched during the third graduation ceremonies of Alcadev. Tears of joy filled the morning of March 10, 2010, as students, parents, teachers and other guests celebrated the end of another school year full of achievements and challenges.

Like the Moro in many parts of Mindanao, evacuation has become a way of life for the Lumads . They would rather sleep in schools, at village halls or town gymnasiums than stay in their villages and bear the brunt of military operations.

The Manobos of Surigao del Sur may be back home for now, but they still face the threats of militarization – even as they also have to contend with the burden of rebuilding their ravaged homes, schools, and livelihoods. View slideshow

Special Report | Last of Three Parts Even in times of crisis and conflict, Alcadev, the nonformal school for tribal children in Surigao del Sur, carries on with its mission. Indeed, the recent militarization in Surigao that resulted in massive displacements of Lumad residents proved to be quite a learning experience for the students, if only it weren’t so traumatic.

LIANGA, Surigao del Sur — The established pattern of military atrocities in several villages in this province sent the Manobo folk packing up to leave this year, even at the mere sight of soldiers. Karapatan-Caraga said that on June 10, some 70 soldiers of the 58th IB came and lived in a number of Lumad…

Special Report | Second of Three Parts A significant impact of an Alcadev education is that it “bridges the knowledge between students and parents.” It thus helps the development of Lumad communities. But the military is suspicious, branding the school and what it does as communist, harassing not just the teachers and students but its foreign supporters and visitors as well.

The living conditions of the Lumad in the evacuation center make them, especially the infants and children, vulnerable to illnesses resulting from lack of food, water and facilities for sanitation. “Their daily lives, work and schools have sadly become “collateral damage to the Arroyo’s counterinsurgency campaign,” says Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan.