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Killing of IP teacher and leaders, an attack against the people's right to education; hits Luistro and PNoy's inaction

"We are aghast that due to the inutility of the Department of Education, Commission on Human Rights and of the BS Aquino regime to act on our long standing call against the continuing blatant attack against alternative schools and human rights abuses committed against their teachers, administrators, students and residents, the atrocities continue."

PRESS STATEMENT
September 2, 2015

For Reference: France Castro, Secretary-General
09204166441

Killing of IP teacher and leaders, an attack against the people's right to education; hits Luistro and PNoy's inaction

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) today expresses aghast and condemnation over another case of attack against an alternative school in Mindanao serving the Indigenous Peoples (IP) resulting in the killing of a school administrator and IP leaders in the communty.

Around 4:00 am yesterday, Emerito Samarca, Executive Director of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), Malahutayong Pakigbisog alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) Chair Jionel Campus and his cousin Aurelio Sinzo were gunned down by the elements of the paramilitary armed group Bagani Forces.

ALCADEV, an alternative school established last July 2004, was a product of the joint efforts of the IP organizations in Lianga and neighboring towns in the province of Surigao del Sur. MAPASU on the other hand is an IP organization of the indigenous tribe Manobo from the towns of Lianga, San Agustin, Tago and Marihatag in Surigao del Sur.

“We join our fellow educators and of the people of Surigao del Sur in mourning the death of an educator for the people and their leaders and stand firm with them in calling for the immediate prosecution of all perpetrators.

We are aghast that due to the inutility of the Department of Education, Commission on Human Rights and of the BS Aquino regime to act on our long standing call against the continuing blatant attack against alternative schools and human rights abuses committed against their teachers, administrators, students and residents, the atrocities continue.

Elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines together with their paramilitary components, the Bagani Force, continue to wreak fear and threat to life against the true servants of the people,” said Ms. France Castro, secretary-general of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).

ALCADEV as an alternative school championed culturally-sensitive and responsive education program that answers the needs of the IPs in the entire CARAGA region. Testament to this was the several recognition issued to them by several government agencies like the National Commission on the Indigenous People (NCIP) and the local government of Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

“Since last year, we frequented already the Department of Education and other government agencies calling them to act on the numerous recorded cases of attacks on schools and human rights abuses committed by the elements of the AFP against the teachers, administrators and their students. To our dismay, all these complaints were simply dismissed by the education department and by the Aquino regime. Both the DepEd and BS Aquino are equally liable to these cases after they failed to order the AFP to withdraw their attacks on these schools, their students, teachers and administrators. Our records will show that after DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro issued DepEd Order Number 221 series of 2013 which allowed military activities inside schools, the number of human rights abuses against the teachers, administrators and students rose up tremendously,” added Ms. Castro.

“Our call is clear, rescind DepEd Order 221 now and order the withdrawal of all AFP forces from schools and communities. We call for the immediate prosecution of all elements involve in this barbaric act. Uphold people’s right to education,” ended Ms. Castro.