Teachers’ group worried on CA’s junking of petition

Feb. 10, 2019

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers expressed alarm over the Court of Appeals’ junking of their petition to stop the Philippine National Police from profiling its members.

Raymund Basilio, secretary general of ACT said that the CA’s decision has emboldened the police its surveillance.

“We are deeply worried that the PNP is now taking CA’s decision as a nod to its illegal activities. They consider teachers, as well as anyone else who dare fight for their rights and welfare, as enemies of the state. What they fail to realize, however, is they’ve also exposed themselves to be the real enemy of the people,” he added.

Member teachers from at least ten regions have reported continuing surveillance and aggravating harassments.

ACT Philippines’ Secretary General Raymond Basilio said he was followed and threatened by an unidentified person on his way home. ACT said to have verified reports of extensive person-specific profiling in Pangasinan and receive cases of school visitations from police elements gathering lists of ACT members.

A teacher from Negros Occidental, whose affidavit is included as exhibit in both the CA petition and the Ombudsman case filed by ACT, found her classroom table ransacked taking her notebook and schedules.

In a four-page resolution dated February 4, the CA’s 11th Division cited shortcomings in ACT’s petition, including its failure to include certified true copies of the memoranda supposedly issued by the PNP’s intelligence units.

CA Associate Justices Ricardo Rosario, Nina Antonio-Valenzuela and Perpetua Atal-Pano explained that the petition failed to meet the requirement under Rule 65, Section 2 in relation to Rule 46, Section 3 of the Rules of Court. These rules require that “the petition shall likewise be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto.”

The National Union of People’s Lawyers said that the recent dismissal by the Court of Appeals of the ACT teachers’ Petition for Prohibition on technical grounds is a disappointing development in the application for redress from the courts.

According to NUPL that documents from the PNP is inaccessible “considering the memorandum was issued secretly in almost nine regions by PNP units”.

The CA petition filed last January seeks to question the validity and revocation of the PNP memorandum intending to conduct an inventory of All Public and Private School Teachers who are members of or aligned with Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).(davaotoday.com)

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