Letter to the editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 13): Military didn’t take over Manobo village
This is a reaction to the news article titled “Manobo kids cry ‘SOS’ over disrupted schooling” (Metro, 11/9/14).
I’m a social worker-volunteer living in Davao del Norte and currently helping the Manobo in Talaingod town. I witnessed the arrival of the military for the supposed implementation of development projects, and it was definitely to address the needs of a minority people.
But the Save Our Schools (SOS) network, Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers and Karapatan human rights group called for the immediate pullout of the military from the community.
The Manobo needed the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the local government to serve them and to preserve the unity of the tribal people. I don’t think that the SOS and its allied groups are really concerned with the Manobo people because if they were, they would not have used these indigenous tribe.
Did they have to exploit those children and others to oppose something or raise an issue they don’t even know about? Haven’t the SOS network, Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers and Karapatan realized that the military is trying to reach out peacefully to the needy, especially the indigenous peoples? They (military) never took over any schools or community.