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Regional police chief asserts NPA, militants using IP schools for propaganda

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SATUR C. OCAMPO is welcomed by supporters upon his return in Quezon City on Dec. 2. — PHILSTAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

LAW enforcement agencies in the Davao Region have asserted that militant organizations and the communist New People’s Army are using some schools in indigenous people (IP) communities for teaching their ideologies and using the students in their protest actions. This developed as the group led by former Bayan Muna party-list representative and Saturnino “Satur” C. Ocampo and Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. France L. Castro were released on bail following several cases of kidnapping and child trafficking slapped against over the incident in Talaingod, Davao del Norte. The two flew back to Metro Manila on Sunday, where they denounced the charges in a press conference. Police Regional Office Director Marcelo C. Morales, on the other hand, said they have reports of how the schools were being used outside the education mandate. “There were reports that the children were taught with false ideals at school, far from the mandates of the DepEd (Department of Education),” said Mr. Morales. The military, meanwhile, reported that in support of their cases against Mr. Ocampo’s group, about 1,000 members of IP communities in Talaingod, Davao del Norte staged a protest action against the militant organizations. The report claimed that the protesters were headed by tribal leaders Datu Guibang Apoga, who founded the Salugpungan Ta’tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center and a self-confessed former sympathizer of the NPA and militant groups. — Carmelito Q. Francisco

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