Tribal Communities want red schools closed

Due to their radical influence on the their children, the tribal communities in Davao Del Norte want schools red-tagged by the Philippine National Police (PNP) closed.

The members of the Ata-Manobo in Talaingod have come to a realization that these “salugpungan” schools did not bring blessings to them, but have instead brought them a curse.

These schools were supposedly used as schools to teach communism to young tribesmen.

Capt. Capt. John Louie Dema-ala, information officer of the Army’s 56th Infantry Battalion (IB), said the Ata-Manobo tribesmen, coming from various parts of Talaingod, gathered in front of the Talaingod Police Station where former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) partylist Rep. Francisca Castro and six of their companions were detained earlier for violating Republic Act 10364 in relation to RA 7610 for kidnapping and failure to return a minor.

Their ancestral domain was used to build guerrilla bases.

The tribesmen were led by Talaingod Tribal Chieftain Datu Guibang Apoga, founder of Salugpungan Ta’tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center.

The tribal leader left the “Salugpungan” last June.

Apoga cited his own personal experience against the group of Ocampo, whom he accused of working to “convince their children to become NPA warriors and anti-government activists.”

“Moreover, he (Apoga) added that their ancestral domain was used to build guerilla bases,” Dema-ala said.

On the other hand, salugpungan schools were supposedly used as schools to teach communism to young tribesmen.

The protest was also participated in by Datu Lipatoan Joel Onad and Datu Jorge Balingas Mandahay, board officers of the Mindanao Indigenous People Council of Elders and Leaders.

Onad and Mandahay also denounced Ocampo and his companions and they demanded the closure of the salugpungan.