DepEd-Davao: Result of probe on Salugpongan schools out this month

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 October) – The five-member investigating panel created by the Department of Education (DepEd)-Davao to look into the allegations of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon against the Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center, Inc. will be released this month, DepEd-Davao spokesperson Jenielito Atillo said on Wednesday.

The probe team was created immediately after DepEd-Davao director Evelyn Fetalvero ordered the suspension of 55 Salugpongan schools in the Davao region on July 10.

Atillo said the probe team had submitted its recommendations to Fetalvero after holding a series of dialogues with the involved stakeholders, including executives of the Salugpongan.

Fetalvero issued the suspension order on July 10 following the complaint filed by Esperon, who is also Vice Chair of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. Esperon said the schools did not teach the Lumad children in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the DepEd, that children were used in anti-government rallies and taught to fight government.

Esperon’s complaint was accompanied with an affidavit of a certain Melvin M. Loyod, who claimed to have volunteered as a teacher at Salugpongan in Sitio Pongpong, Barangay Sto. Niño, Talaingod, Davao Del Norte after graduating Grade 12.

Atillo said he is not privy to the result of the inquiry but added if the agency finds no merit to the allegations of Esperon against Salugpongan schools, the suspension order will be lifted and the schools may proceed with the application of school permits but if it finds there is truth to the allegation, the agency will proceed with the cancellation of the schools’ operation.

He said most of the children affected by the suspension order are attending classes at the nearby public schools in their community. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)