Miriam wants probe on closure of Davao del Norte lumad schools

Subscribe Now June 18, 2015 at 12:11pm

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has asked colleagues to investigate reports that schools set up for "lumad" (indigenous people) in the hinterlands of Davao del Norte, a move that will affect some 3,000 students from tribal communities.

Santiago said the closing of the schools as well as reported plans to field soldiers as “para-teachers” to the lumad communities would violate the Constitution as she proposed the idea of declaring schools all over the country peace zones.

“Recent events lend urgency to the need for an investigation, through which the Senate may contemplate legislation declaring schools all over the country as peace zones,” Santiago said in Proposed Senate Resolution No. 1392.

She cited Sections 5 and 5 of Article 2 of the Constitution.

Section 5 provides: "The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy."

Section 17, on the other hand, says: "The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development."

Santiago’s resolution cited that the closure of the lumad schools and the deployment of the “para-teachers” was supported by the Department of Education’s schools division in Davao del Norte as well as accusations by human rights group Karapatan and the Save Our Schools Network that education officials colluded with the military in shutting down the education centers.

Source: interaksyon.com

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