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Lumad father allegedly denied custody of his child by DSWD

A parent of a Lumad student involved in the Cebu bakwit school raid claimed he was denied custody of his child by DSWD-7 due to necessary protocols and investigation.

The Lumad father, who chose to remain anonymous, spoke virtually in a press conference facilitated by the Save Our Schools Network on Saturday, February 27.

“Ang nahitabo, ma’am, bisan unsaon nako og hangyo sa nagcustody sa bata og ang director, ipaagi man gyud daw sa proseso. Di sad na nako masabtan unsa na nga protocol naa karon nila. Ang ako lang gyud unta, isip usa ka amahan, naa ko’y mga kamatuoran nga ako nang anak, ug kanang anaka nako wa ko na ginapasagdan,” he said.

(What happened was, no matter how much I pleaded with the director for custody of my child, I was told that a protocol must be followed. I didn't really understand the protocol. But, as a father, I have proof that the child is mine and that I didn’t abandon my child.)

The father was allowed to visit his child on Friday, February 26, but was barred from taking the minor home.

Meanwhile, in a statement to media, DSWD-7 denied withholding the child from her father. The DSWD-7 added it explained to the father that a Parenting Capability Assessment Report (PCAR) should be released by DSWD-11 before the next step involving the child's custody could be decided.

"In accordance with standard procedures, DSWD-7 requests the father to wait for the Parenting Capability Assessment Report (PCAR) to be issued by the local social welfare and development office where the family resides prior to deciding on appropriate actions to be made. The PCAR establishes the parenting capacity of the parents and of the family to provide for the needs of the child," the statement reads.

"This will also guide the duty-bearers on what they can contribute to respond to the needs of the family, thereby ensuring the best welfare and interest of the children," the statement reads.

The child is among the 6 Lumad students who remain under the custody of DSWD-7. There were originally 19 students who were put under government custody after their makeshift school in the University of San Carlos in Cebu City was raided on February 15.

The rest of the 13 had already been sent home to Davao del Norte. However, SOS Network and the Children’s Legal Bureau claim that 7 of them were transported without authority from their parents. – Rappler.com