EDUCATION Secretary Leonor Briones should condemn President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to attack Lumad schools (schools run by indigenous people), lawmakers said Thursday.
Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro of Alliance of Concerned Teachers made the call in light of the President’s statements during his State of the Nation Address that Lumad schools would be bombed by government forces, particularly the Air Force, because they lacked permit to operate.
Likewise, the President accused Lumad schools of teaching kids about subversion and communism.
“We call on Education Secretary Briones to speak up against this threat. The President sounded like a monster, days have passed, and we are yet to hear from the Education Secretary,” Castro told reporters.
Castro also disputed government claims that Lumad schools did not have permit to operate, saying that two Lumad schools were even awarded by the DepEd.
“The President’s threat is a downright violation of human rights,” she said.
“This is not a matter of having a permit or not. Bombing schools is a war crime,” Tinio added.
Castro also lamented that the education department was sitting on Lumad schools’ applications for permit to operate.
“So many permits have been pending and yet the DepEd has yet to act on it,” Castro said. LLANESCA T. PANTI