CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – “We always encourage them to go to the Department of Education (DepEd) if they are really serious and determined to help lumad children of Diatagon but they always refuse”, said Brgy. Diatagon Captain Remegio Pareja on why the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), and Tribal Filipino Program of Lianga, Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS INC.) are not legally accredited by DepEd.
This is his statement following the recent congressional inquiry of the Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples (CICCIP) of the House of Representatives in ALCADEV and TRIFPSS in Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
He added in an interview by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) CARAGA, “I don’t know why ALCADEV and TRIFPSS don’t want to be accredited and be legalized. Also, very alarming is the fact that they don’t want to accept help from the government.”
It can be recalled that last April 28, 2019, the inspection team, duly authorized by the House of Representatives, composed of Atty. Rueben Lingating, Chairman of the Indigenous People’s Peace Panel of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP); Adora Pueblo, CICCIP Committee Secretariat; and representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National Commission on Indigenous People’s (NCIP) visited Km 16, Sitio Han-ayan, Bgy Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur to validate reports citing the said lumad (indigenous people) schools’ connection with the Communist- Terrorist CPP-NPA.
CICCIP said “significant data and information (on the alleged involvement) have been endorsed to the committee as well as to the Office of the House Speaker by the National Security Adviser (NSA) in December 2018 and in January this year prompting the conduct of the inquiry.
During the Press Conference in Butuan City after the visit of CICCIP, Francis Cesar Bringas, Regional Director DepEd CARAGA said ALCADEV and TRIFPSS need to follow the law, “Both the schools are considered Private Learning institutions that need to be accredited by the DepEd.” “We have been encouraging and asking them to do that and to submit their papers to us but they refused because they said they want to maintain their identity”, Bringas added.
Atty. Lingating also emphasized, “As we validate the veracity of the report given to our office, we also want to verify how the Multi-million International funds from the European Union (EU) are utilized by these schools for we know that they don’t use it for the improvement and betterment of the IPs of Surigao del Sur.”
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4ID Commander said that the inquiry seeks to reveal the truth. “Through the revelations made by Former NPAs and Political Guides, we will be able to divulge these suspicious organizations who continue to deceive our Lumad communities.” “We are confident that the congressional inquiry will have positive results and soon, their true colors and links to the CPP-NPA will be further exposed along with the persons behind them. The government is working hard to put an end to those who use and abuse the innocence of our lumad children”, Gacal added.
“Let’s save our children and the youth from the clutches of the CPP-NPA who promotes communist-terrorist ideologies. It is about time we stop them from destroying more lives, families, communities and our entire country”, he emphasized.
It can be recalled that last March, the said team also visited Salugpungan Schools in various parts of Davao which, according to former NPAs and captured documents, have been used by CPP-NPA as breeding and training grounds for new recruits for many years.
Salugpungan, ALCADEV and TRIFPSS were among the CPP-NPA front organizations cited earlier by Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, that have duped the European Union and Belgium for support and funding along with the Rural Missionaries, Solidagro, Viva Salud, Kiyo, Gabriela, ANAKPAWIS and others. Parlade said these organizations used “fake reports of Bakwit and IP killings, in order to ask them (foreign NGOs) for donations.