JUNE 15, 2015
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
DAVAO CITY- KARAPATAN-SMR spokesperson Hanimay Suazo assailed the recommendations of Supt. Josephine Fadul of DepEd Davao del Norte, saying that it reeked of subservience connivances between her and the military.
“The military has been relentless in attacking Salugpungan schools, vilifying them as communist institutions. When these educational centers close down, who benefits? Col. Harold Cabreros of the 1003rd Brigade of the 10th IDPA, no one else! He’d most likely be given medals and promotion for the supposed success of his counterinsurgency efforts, when in reality what he has done is deprive the Talaingod youth of their education,” Suazo added.
“Col. Cabreros was cc’d in the letter of Fadul to Atty. Escobarte of DepEd XI. Why would that be? Is that tantamount to saying ‘Here, I did what you asked of me’?”
Suazo further criticized Fadul’s request that military personnel serve as “para-teachers” for a school that would be constructed in Sitio Butay, should Salugpungan schools be closed.
“Para-teachers? Sounds a bit like “paramilitary”: seemingly, but not at all, and prone to human-rights violations.”
“The AFP’s mandate is the security and defense of the nation, not the creation of schools and instruction therewith. Or has the DepEd sunk to the depths of uselessness that it has wrongly asked the aid of yet another useless institution?,” Suazo asked.
Suazo reminded Fadul that schools were civilian structures where the presence of military forces are prohibited, in order to guard the noncombatant population against proximity of any engagement between warring forces.
“Lest she forget, under the International Humanitarian Law, military forces are not allowed to be within 500 meters of civilian occupations.”
“By recommending the “para-teachers” scheme, Fadul has placed in danger of death the lives of the students,” Suazo claimed.
“Fadul’s letter said that the Salugpungan schools have to be closed down to investigate, reinspect, and reevaluate their performance to deliver efficient, quality, and relevant educational services. Is she sure that these para-teachers can provide these, when to begin with it is the military that has committed atrocities against the schools?”