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Save Our Schools Network corrects Palace’s ‘malicious’ accusations against Lumad schools

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The Save Our Schools (SOS) Network took to Facebook on July 29 to respond to Malacañang’s claims that three Lumad schools are operating without a license from the Department of Education (DepEd), calling those claims ‘malicious’ and ‘false.’ 

“In another statement released by Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag yesterday (July 28), the Malacañang identified three Lumad schools—namely ALCADEV Inc., CLANS, and Salugpongan—as illegally operating for their “refusal” to comply with the requirements of the Department of Education (DepEd) and for teaching subversive doctrines to its students,” the SOS Network’s statement read.  

“The Save Our Schools Network denounces these malicious and false accusations that malign the Lumad schools,” it added.  

This was in response to Banaag’s statement during the Mindanao Hour briefing at the Palace.  

“There are three main groups of left-oriented indigenous people schools, this is according to the Department of Education,” Banaag said. “These are the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development, Inc. or the Alcadev; second, the Center for Lumad Advocacy and Services, Inc. or the Clans; and third, the Salugpungan Community Learning Center.” 

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Banaag added that the ALCADEV of Surigao “has no permit to operate” and refuses to obtain one from DepEd. She also said that the Clans has three months left to comply with DepEd requirements.  

In response, the SOS Network said the Salugpongan schools have the proper permits.  

“First, the Salugpongan schools have permits to operate and have been complying with the K+12 curriculum, thus, adhering to the basic formal education system set by the Department of Education. Despite bearing some questions raised by Salugpongan on DepEd’s illogical requirements for indigenous peoples (IP) schools, it complied with all the necessary requirements to obtain permit to operate and to reach recognition status as well,” the statement from the organization read.  

They said that ALCADEV Inc. is approved by the DepEd Bureau of Alternative Learning System (DepEd-BALS).  

“ALCADEV Inc., on the other hand, is recognized by DepEd’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System (DepEd-BALS). As a duly recognized alternative learning institution, the Alcadev schools provide the Lumad people of Surigao del Sur “the chance to have access to and complete basic education in a mode that fits their distinct situations and needs” (DepEd). Indeed, the curriculum and method of instruction of the Alcadev schools manifest the basic principles and requirements of DepEd-BALS,” they said.  

The SOS Network also explained the legality and constitutionality of the ALCADEV Inc.’s existence.  

“In principle, alternative learning system is one of the forms of education other than formal education recognized and promoted by the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Stated in Article XIV, Section 2, Paragraph 4 of the Constitution, the state shall “encourage non-formal, informal, and indigenous learning systems, as well as self-learning, independent, and out-of-school study programs particularly those that respond to the community needs” (1987 Philippine Constitution). The UN Declaration on the Rights of IPs also enshrines the indigenous peoples’ right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions, in a manner appropriate to their culture and traditions. Hence, the existence and the operation of Alcadev schools are clearly LEGAL and CONSTITUTIONAL,” their statement read. 

The third school in the Palace’s warning is that of CLANS, which are still waiting for their permits.  

“In the case of CLANS, some of their schools are still awaiting their permits from DepEd despite having submitted all the required documents for operation. We believe that the delayed issuance of permit to operate is deliberate and part of the government’s stratagem to impede the operation of IP schools,” it said.  

The SOS Network also responded to the Malacañang’s allegations about Lumad schools teaching students with “subversive ideas.”  

“The SOS Network also decries the allegation of Malacañang that these institutions educate Lumad children with “subversive ideas.” Teaching the Lumad people of their human rights, of taking care of the environment and their ancestral lands, of sustainable agriculture, of enhancing their culture and traditions, among others are not subversive teachings. Rather, this is a form of transformative and holistic education which in fact contributes to community-building and national development as this promotes the social, political and cultural wellbeing of the Lumad people,” they said.  

The group wanted to remind President Duterte to fulfill the government’s mandate about providing free education. 

“Above all, we want to remind the Duterte Administration to fulfil its mandate of providing free, quality and accessible education to all. To achieve this, the Duterte Administration must recognize and promote education as a basic human right. And this can only be realized if the Duterte Administration will uphold the rights of the indigenous peoples to mold their own system of education that is, in essence, an acknowledgement of their right to self-determination,” they added.  

Earlier, ALCADEV Inc. posted uploaded photos of their permits, certifications, and awards, proving that they are operating legally.  

In a Facebook post addressed to the President, ALCADEV Inc. responded to his tirades. They cited previous attacks against their communities, reiterated that they already showed proof that they are operating legally and that no one has the right to bomb schools, denied teaching subversion to students, and urged Duterte to retract his threat about bombing Lumad schools.  

ALCADEV Inc.’s #SaveLumadSchools open letter to the president posted on July 28 went viral. They told Duterte how his threats, even to bomb empty schools, is opposed to what he should have done as the President – to use his position to protect the children’s education.  

“As the head of the Philippine government, we ask you to be at the forefront of upholding their right to education by using your power and influence to protect it at all costs, instead of being the one who holds the gun and pulls the trigger to kill their dreams and hopes in life,” ALCADEV Inc. said.  

Sources: ( newsinfo.inquirer.net )

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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