The Inbox

Maguindanao classes go on during registration

Text by Artha Kira Paredes

Photos and Video by Amiel Mark Cagayan

VERA Files

DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao—Classes went on as usual for elementary pupils and high school students here, even if classrooms in some schools were  designated voters' registration areas.

At noon last Friday, students of Sarilikha National High School in Barangay Semba were caught in a flurry of activities, apparently impervious to the ongoing registration of voters in two classrooms at the front of the school compound.

Those dismissed prepared to head for home or cleaned their classrooms while several groups in the covered court were practicing cheers and dances for a school presentation.

Acting Assistant Schools Division Supervisor Brahim Gulam said there was no suspension of classes in the first district of the Department of Education (DepEd) in  Maguindanao even if several classrooms are being utilized as registration centers.

The schools in the towns of Datu Blah T. Sinsuat, Upi North, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Parang, Buldon, Barira, Matanog, and Kabuntalan North and South are under the first district of Manguindanao DepEd.

Voters registration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) set from July 9 to 18.

Gulam said that while most of the 34 barangays in Datu Odin Sinsuat use one to two classrooms for the registrations, there is no directive to suspend classes. Classes are either held in extra rooms and classrooms or shifting takes place, he said.

When classes take shifts, students and pupils are still able to attend all their subjects but the time is reduced, he said.

At the high school in Barangay Semba here, second year high school students whose classroom is being used as a registration center held classes at the school library.

The junior students whose classroom serves as an area to fill up forms transferred to an unused room.

DepEd's Assistant Secretary for Operations Noor Saada said they do not have data yet on how many classrooms are being used as registration centers in ARMM.

He said that DepEd ARMM released a memo decentralizing the decision-making on whether a classroom can be used for registration or not.

To speed up the process, the district supervisor coordinates with the local election officer, he said.

Decision on whether to suspend classes may vary depending on the assessment of the situation, he said.

"If the decision is warranted, they can call off the class…if the school is not used for registration, if security is okay, classes push through," he said.

(ARMM WATCH  is a project of VERA Files in partnership with MindaNews, The Asia Foundation and Australian Agency for International Development. VERA Files is put out by  veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for "true.")


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • US ambassador slashed and bloodied in Seoul attack
    US ambassador slashed and bloodied in Seoul attack

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed on his face and arm in Seoul on Thursday by a lone, blade-wielding activist opposed to ongoing US-Korean military drills. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which left the ambassador bleeding profusely from a deep wound on his right cheek and saw him rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable. Witnesses described how a man with a blade concealed in his right hand had lunged across a table at Lippert …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options