Schools in fear over renewed fighting in Sorsogon

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Photo by Edwin G. Espejo
Newly graduate NPA troops receive their diploma during the 48th anniversary CPP. BICOLTODAY.COM PHOTO

SORSOGON CITY, 13Feb2017 (BicolToday.com) — Army troops belonging to Charlie Company led by 2Lt. Michael P. Bancud engaged early Friday a New People’s Army (NPA) fighters at Tula-Tula Norte, Magallanes, Sorsogon.

No casualties were reported on both sides, but teachers suspended classes to protect school children from any forthcoming firefight.

The firefight was one of the series of skirmishes reported in the country after Duterte the government has declared an all-out-war against rebel forces after the collapse of unilateral ceasefire last week when the ongoing peace talk started late last year has turned out shaky over some unmet demands.

One unmet demand asked by the National Democratic Front (NDF) peace panel is the release of all political prisoners, a demand left unmet by the Duterte government.

The renewed AFP combat offensives have forced schools to suspend classes in areas of ongoing conflict.

At Tula-Tula Norte village, in front of Tula-Tula Norte Elementary School, on standby are Army troops, APC and armored vehicles.

The school cancelled classes due to possible encounter between Army and NPA fighters in the village.

The suspension of classes was confirmed by Mr. Joseph John Perez, DepEd Sorsogon Information Officer, citing DepEd Order 43, series of 2012, regarding guidelines on suspension of classes.

International protocol on conducts of war has placed a ban on military forces from using schools as staging areas for military deployment.

But, the DepEd order prohibiting military use of schools is violated, as what had happened in Tula-Tula. [BicolToday.com]

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