THE PROVINCIAL Peace and Order Council of Davao Oriental is looking into the activities of nine schools located within indigenous people (IP) communities that are reportedly being used by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) as recruitment sites. Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang, in a press statement Wednesday, said his office has also requested the Department of Social Welfare and Development to ensure that beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer program enroll their children in Department of Education-accredited schools. Mr. Dayanghirang, also the chair of the peace council, said the problem is that “time and again, we are receiving consistent information on the ground that these non-government schools were indoctrinating their indigenous and innocent students with anti-government ideologies.” He also reiterated the local government’s commitment to strengthen the delivery of social services to the IP villages, particularly those in the hinterlands. Lorenzo E. Mendoza, schools superintendent of the province, also vowed to help the government address the problem of NPA recruitment. According to the military, the nine schools under monitoring are all in the eastern side of the province. Mr. Dayanghirang said the peace council will push to declare these schools illegal if evidence would show that these are being used by the rebel movement. — Carmelito Q. Francisco