The Daily Manila Shimbun


Youth leader says military, rebels should spare schools from their activities

August 15, 2017

The National Youth Commission urged on Tuesday government troops and insurgent groups to spare the Lumad schools from their conflict.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, NYC chaiperson Aiza Seguerra said the youths in Mindanao came out with a statement to maintain structures, such as schools, being "peace zones," free from presence of "state or non-state armed groups."

The statement was made as President Rodrigo Duterte recently warned he would order the military to bomb Lumad schools, which are being used by the communist New People's Army to indoctrinate the youths of its ideology to fight the state.

Seguerra said he has not yet talked to Duterte regarding his earlier warning.

But she said, "the schools, we want to make sure that all schools are not affected of any war, of any power struggle.

"Of course, we are asking the president to not do that," she said.

Seguerra also urged the other groups who have "different agenda" not to use the schools to propagate their cause.

"I'll be very firm about this. Let's leave off our schools. Let's make sure that the youth will study...let us not use the schools for different agenda," he said.

Duterte has decided to terminate the formal peace talks with the Maoist group for its continuous attacks against government forces despite the peace negotiations. Celerina Monte/DMS