Philippine President Duterte’s threat of airstrikes against tribal schools get international attention — “deliberate attacks on civilians, including students and teachers, is a war crime.”

In this Monday, July 24, 2017, photo, young Indigenous People known as Lumads form the words “Save Lumad schools” as they join a march of thousands of protesters to coincide with the state of the nation address of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Human rights groups asked Duterte Wednesday, July 26, 2017, to retract a threat to order airstrikes against tribal schools he accused of teaching students to become communist rebels, warning such an attack would constitute a war crime. U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said international humanitarian law “prohibits attacks on schools and other civilian structures unless they are being used for military purposes,” adding that deliberate attacks on civilians, including students and teachers, “is also a war crime.” AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Lumad schools which failed to comply with the requirements of the Department of Education drew the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte, a Malacañang official said Friday.

During his State of the Nation Address earlier this week, the president threatened to bomb tribal schools allegedly teaching subversion in Mindanao.

“It is the illegal Lumad schools which drew the president’s adverse reaction,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said in a televised press conference.

READ: Duterte says only empty Lumad schools would be bombed

Banaag clarified that the chief executive was not referring to all Lumad schools but only those who refused to comply with the DepEd requirements on the curriculum.

The PCOO official stressed that Duterte does not intend to launch airstrikes toward Lumad children.

“On the contrary, he said that they should get out of the schools as he was referring to structures and not the children,” Banaag said.

According to the DepEd, there are three left-oriented indigenous people schools in Mindanao — the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), the Center for Lumad Advocacy and Services, Inc. (CLANS) and the Salagpongan Community Learning Center.

ALCADEV does not have a permit to operate and refuses to get a permit from the DepEd while CLANS has been given three months to comply with DepEd requirements.

Banaag noted that the DepEd had also established Lumad schools in the region which are complying with its curriculum requirements.

“There are Lumad schools established by religious groups and civic organizations which are legitimate. Also, there are three indigenous people schools that have been constructed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development,” Banaag said.

In a news conference late Thursday, Duterte said that the bombings against Lumad schools will be done at night.

In his SONA, Duterte claimed that the rebels were sparing Lumad schools which were allegedly operating under guerilla control without permits.

RELATED: Duterte ‘lowest of the low’ over threat to bomb Lumad schools, Reds say


 (Contains links to several related articles)

Residents and police gather near the blanket-covered body of a man killed, along with four others, in an alleged police anti-drug operation in Manila, Philippines Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Authorities said 3,200 alleged drug personalities have died in police operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

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