KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has likened the Philippine National Police (PNP) profiling of its members and feared the police may just knock and force its members to admit a crime anytime.
Joselyn Martinez, ACT national chairperson, said the PNP chief’s tone “is no different from the formula used by the police in Tokhang operations, wherein after haphazardly conjuring an unverified list of suspects, those listed are called into admitting and then denouncing drug crimes to clear their names”.
Martinez said this action “is an attack against their freedom of expression and self-organization”.
“After this, what? Should we expect the police to come knocking on our doors any day now?” asked Martinez, referring to the infamous Tokhang tactic of police showing up on the doorsteps of drug suspects which has resulted in thousands of deaths after.
Martinez reported that police visits in schools continued despite the profiling issue being exposed in the media and a few police intelligence heads being relieved due to the leakage of the operations.
ACT documented police visits yesterday to public schools in San Juan, Manila and in Angono, Rizal. The schools latter showed to ACT leaders copy of a letter from PNP addressed to Angono National High School requesting for a list of ACT members in the said school.
ACT also disclosed reports of PNP trying to gather information on their members in Baguio City and in Angeles City.
“They have not stopped in their schemes to intimidate and harass our teachers on the grounds. What kind of government renders its teachers overworked and underpaid, then has the audacity to put them under surveillance when they start demanding for their rights?.” Martinez said.
“No amount of harassment can silence us from fighting for a just and substantial salary increase. The government should ensure that our families and every Filipino family get the decent life that we deserve because that’s what they’re there for and we’ll accept nothing less,” Martinez said.
Earlier.PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde has asked ACT members to dissociate themselves from communist groups and denounce their infiltration, manipulation, and use of the ranks of Filipino educators.
The ACT has dared Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo to be sure the administration follow through with its promise to increase teachers’salaries in three months.
The group admonished that the promise may be made up “to divert the issue of the police forces’ illegal profiling of ACT members”.
Panelo told a press briefing that there is no state policy to surveil teachers and that President Duterte “loves” the teachers and remains true to his promise of doubling the teachers’ salaries.
“Given that Panelo acts as the president’s mouthpiece, we hold Pres. Duterte to those words. We are talking about doubling teachers’ salaries here and not the measly 2–4% increase as part of the 4th tranche of salary adjustment for government workers which was stalled due to the delay in the approval of the 2019 budget,” said Martinez. (davaotoday.com)