DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Public school teachers in the city joined the outcry to stop the harassment and vilification against teachers following the supposed profiling of Philippine National Police (PNP) of members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) nationwide.
ACT-Davao City Division Chapter, in a post in their official Facebook page dated January 6, condemned the PNP issuance of the memorandum in Manila and Zambales calling for an inventory of all public and private school teachers associated with ACT.
ACT Davao City President Reynaldo Pardillo said the move raised the grave concern for teachers “whose only wish is to attain living wages and benefits despite the volume of their workload inside and outside of the school.”
The union has not received reports of similar moves from the PNP in collecting names of teacher-members of ACT here in Davao.
Pardillo said that ACT unions all over the country are legal and legitimately recognized by the Department of Education (DepEd) and other government agencies.
ACT serves as the sole and exclusive negotiating agent for public school teachers in various regions, leading in various campaigns including a salary increase for teachers and higher education budget.
“Our championing of the rights and welfare of teachers is no crime,” Pardillo said.
The group said that the submission of names of teachers and non-teaching personnel to the PNP is “illegal”, saying they only recognize memos officially coming from DepEd.
He added that what PNP did violates teachers’ right to privacy, and self-organization enshrined in the Bill of Rights and RA 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.
ACT-Davao City called on the school heads “to protect the rights and welfare” of the teachers, and refrain from giving a list or any information “without consent.”
ACT-Davao Region official also feared this may begin possible “tokhang” activities against teachers similar to the bloody drug campaign of the Duterte administration.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) said that after preliminary consultations with the concerned teachers, they are “seriously” considering legal remedies in court “to stop ongoing and impending police harassment, surveillance, discrimination and invasion of privacy” of ACT members.
“Unless the police immediately withdraw such illegal, unconstitutional and invasive intelligence directive, all those who appear to be complicit will be held legally accountable,” NUPL said in a statement. (davaotoday.com)