Groups, DepEd Worried Over Militarization of Lumad School; Congress Probe Sought

While the militarization in the countryside offend affects not just residents but schools as well, the case of Alcadev is one of the rare cases when a school is specifically targeted for harassment because of its alleged links to the communists.

In previous conflicts between the government the New People’s Army, soldiers would often seek refuge in school buildings, transforming these into virtual barracks.


In Congress also in Tuesday, Ilagan filed a resolution calling for an investigation of human-rights violations against the Lumads in Surigao del Sur.

House Resolution 1341 directs the House Committee on National Cultural Communities to conduct the investigation in aid of legislation on the abuses perpetrated by elements of the 58th and 36th Infantry Battalion.

Ilagan was joined by students and teachers of Alcadev, leaders of human rights groups Karapatan and Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (EMJP) and children’s rights advocacy groups Salinlahi and Center for Rehabilitation Center (CRC).

Ilagan, who has visited the evacuation centers in Tandag, Surigao twice, said that the soldiers have been conducting food blockade. Ilagan added the soldiers have been harassing the teachers and students.

Ilagan called for the immediate pullout of soldiers from the area.

In a separate statement, Karapatan attributed the increasing number of internally displaced persons in the country to the military’s Oplan Bantay Laya deadline to end the insurgency by 2010. “This mad worn-out strategy of wiping the insurgency by “military and civic programs” is creating a humanitarian crisis in Mindanao,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairperson, said.

Karapatan also called on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to look into the counter-insurgency program.

Ilagan said that CHR Chairperson Leila de Lima had agreed to visit the evacuation center in Tandag to look into the plight of internal refugees and human rights violations.

On Aug. 28, a national support network for the evacuees of Surigao del Sur dubbed Task Force Surigao will conduct a solidarity mission to Tandag, Carrascal and Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

The mission aims to expose the effects of the ongoing militarization of the Lumad communities and to provide immediate medical and other forms of assistance to Lumad evacuees. (

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