KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 5 Sep) – A military official operating in Region 12 has confirmed reports that some of the schools run by the indigenous peoples (IPs) are being used as “tool for propaganda” by the New Peoples’ Army (NPA).
Col. Roberto Angcan, commander of the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade, said these lumad schools are located in remote villages in the region, especially in the hinterlands.
Angcan, however, refused to identify these schools.
He denied allegations by progressive groups hurled against the Army that his troops have been harassing and threatening IP schools in the region.
They were also accused of bombing IP schools in Sultan Kudarat province.
“That is a lie. We don’t attack schools. We only run after armed men who belong to terror groups,” Angcan said in an interview over the Catholic-run DXND.
This, he stressed, is despite the order coming from the Department of Education that they would check on schools that are accredited, registered, or licensed with the department.
“In my [area of responsibility], there are schools being built in the hinterlands. If these are legal institutions and authorized by the DepEd, then, they should not be afraid,” he said. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)