Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lawmakers seek repeal of memo allowing soldiers in schools

See - Lawmakers seek repeal of memo allowing soldiers in schools

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"The Department of Education strongly condemns these alleged incursions of schools. Once it came to our attention, we immediately brought it to the proper investigating body," Luistro said.

The policy being referred to by Ilagan was DepEd Memorandum No. 221 on the Guidelines on the Protection of Children During Armed Conflict, issued on December 13, 2013.

Signed by Secretary Luistro, the issuance allowed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to conduct "civil-military" activities "inside or within a school or a hospital."

Under the memo, Luistro said, the AFP activities will be governed by its own guidelines dated 15 July 2013.

The school principals receive written requests for the conduct of AFP activities, and then forward them to the DepEd division office for approval. After the activity, the school principal is to submit a report to the division office.

The AFP Guidelines indicated that the activities were needed "to prevent" the occurrence of the Grave Violations Against Children During Armed Conflict pursuant to and in compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1612 and 1882, more specifically the violations known as Attacks on Schools and Hospitals.

The main intent of the above policies/guidelines was "to prevent/ bring to unnecessary risk and/or endanger all children, teachers, medical/dental professionals, health workers, and/or employees/workers of the school and hospital concerned, and the school or hospital itself."

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