DepEd refutes allegations of military encampment in N. Samar schools

MANILA The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday denied allegations that it was involved in the military encampment in northern Samar.

In a statement, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said there is no truth to the claim of People Surge, ACT, BAYAN, and SAGUPA-SB that her department was complicit to the supposed occupation of schools by armed troops.

Briones said she is an advocate for the protection of learners, teachers, and all learning institutions from armed conflicts and all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, and exploitation.

She added that DepEd is a member of the Inter-Agency Committee on Children in Armed Conflict, hence, it is mandated to endorse verified cases of violation to the committee and in no way condones any act that puts its learners and personnel at risk.

A report from the DepEd Division of Northern Samar said that no military encampment in schools transpired in the area since the 78th Infantry Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a Civilian Auxiliary Force Geographical Unit are positioned far from Rubas Elementary School and Villa Elementary School.

The report clarified that some military personnel came only to deliver computer units to Las Navas National High School.

On Wednesday, members of People Surge, ACT, BAYAN, and SAGUPA-SB staged a rally in front of DepEd to support the campaign of a group of farmers from Northern Samar who relayed the alleged military encampment of elementary and secondary schools in Las Navas municipality.

The demonstration turned disruptive when some 30 protesters attempted to advance to the doors of the Rizal Building moving past the department's gates.

Source: Philippine News Agency