DAVAO CITY -- The City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) has joined the call for the closure of the Salugpungan schools in Davao City, which are all run by the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. (MISFI).

The CPOC, chaired by Mayor Sara Duterte, approved a resolution of at least seven tribal schools upon the recommendation of Brig. Gen. Ernesto Torres, commander of the Army's 1003rd Brigade, during the council’s meeting on Wednesday.

Torres said the schools are not implementing proper school curriculum such that when they transfer to schools recognized by the Department of Education (DepEd) their students are recommended to return to Grade 1.

Torres identified the schools are implementing "questionable teachings" that are aligned with the "violent ideology" of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

CPP-NPA, which espouses the violent overthrow of the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

He identified the tribal schools as the MISFI Academy in Malabog, Paquibato District; MISFI Academy in Tamugan, Calinan District; Salugpungan “TaTanu” Igkanugon Learning Center in Manuel Guianga, Tugbok District; MISFI Academy in Tambobong, Baguio District; MISFI Academy in Salaysay, Marilog District; MISFI Academy in Gumitan, Marilog District and MISFI Academy in Tapak, Paquibato District.

Torres also alleged that schools are not implementing proper school curriculum as provided by the Department of Education (DepEd).

Torres said the Army has already asked DepEd to cancel the permits of the seven "Salugpungan" schools.

“The school was taken advantaged by the NPA and it does not have clear teachings. They are teaching the children how to handle firearms and many more,” he said.

The Salugpungan schools were established to give Indigenous Peoples groups in remote areas access to education. It was first established in Bukidnon and spread across Mindanao.

In the Davao del Norte town of Talaingod area, the local government and the tribal leaders already closed 14 schools after being accused as breeding grounds of the communist rebel movement. (Funny Pearl A. Gajunera/PNA)