Mindanao Times

Briones supported on IP school suspension


MANILA - An official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict 9NTF ELCAC on Thursday lauded Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones for successful­ly defending the suspension of 55 Salugpunga­n Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon (Salugpunga­n) tribal schools in Southern Mindanao schools during a recent budget hearing at the House of Representa­tives.

“The whole of government is working effectivel­y in ending this local armed conflict by not succumbing to the pressure of Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc that is using the power of the purse to reverse the decision of DepEd on the school’s suspension,” Major General Antonio Parlade Jr. told the Philippine News Agency.

By standing by its decision, Parlade said, DepEd is able to help the government stop the exploitati­on and recruitmen­t of indigenous children into the ranks of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Briones, responding to Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Eufemia Cullamat query on why the 55 schools catering to indigenous peoples (IPs)

were closed and what procedures were undertaken by the agency to justify the closure, said the 55 Salugpunga­n Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon (Salugpunga­n) schools were “temporaril­y suspended” due to their failure to comply with the requiremen­ts set down DepEd for private schools to be given a permit to operate.

“Rep. Cullamat is an IP and she should know that it’s her fellow IP leaders who are demanding for the closure of their schools, for the reasons cited, among several defects enumerated by DepEd,” Parlade said. “So why is Rep Cullamat insisting on this issue?”

He added that it is because of the millions of euros which they will miss from their foreign donors that not only goes to the training of these child warriors, but also to the other front organizati­ons of the Communist Party of the Philippine­s (CPP) that seeks to destroy the government.

Parlade, who is also Armed Forces of the Philippine­s (AFP) Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, identified the Rural Missionari­es of the Philippine­s (RMP) and Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc (MISFI) as the organizati­ons running these Salugpunga­n schools, with officials who are spouses of NPA leaders in Mindanao.

“Ibon Foundation, on the other hand, produces their manuals with radical literature and with editors who are spouses of CPP NPA personalit­ies as well,” he said.

He added that it is ironic that Cullamat or any of the Makabayan bloc, especially Kabataan partylist Rep, Sara Elago did not question DepEd on the ongoing recruitmen­t of young children, aged 1316 in many high schools in Metro Manila and the provinces by communistf­ront groups.

“CPP records say that as of Sept 2015 they have recruited 8,635 children to Anakbayan and some to Kabataang Makabayan (KM), its undergroun­d mass organizati­on, and eventually the NPA. These hypocrites in Congress are invoking UN convention­s on the protection of children when in fact their organizati­ons are clearly the one exploiting them,” he said.

The AFP, he said, cannot end this insurgency alone, but with help from civil society and parents to stop recruitmen­t and foreign funding, the NTF ELCAC is confident it can deliver its mandate.

“But first we need each other’s help in unmasking these criminals disguised as legal fronts or ‘social activists’ as Jose Ma Sison lamely defends them,” he added.

He said more than 50 years of deception should be enough to finally wake up everyone and Filipinos have suffered long enough from communist propaganda.

“Watch how they will again ignite our children’s idealism by capitalizi­ng on the Sept 21 anniversar­y of a Martial Law they designed to be declared by bombing Plaza Miranda,” Parlade added.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organizati­on by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippine­s. (PNA)

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