Labor leader wants PNP to explain profiling of teachers
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) should explain why it profiled teachers linked with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) partylist, a labor leader demanded on Monday.
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) Chair Leody de Guzman said the objective of PNP’s move — which also involves the Department of Education (DepEd) — is “highly dubious and disturbing.”
“This is very unlikely. We have been holding elections since martial law was lifted but it has not come to the point that national police instruct its units to send text messages, hold visitations and seek the DepEd’s endorsement for them to hold an inventory of our teachers,” De Guzman said.
De Guzman cited documents circulating online, showing that in some instances, teachers were given endorsement letters from DepEd’s division officers urging school administrators to allow the police to conduct intelligence gathering.
“On top of the vagueness of the intel memo, the DepEd endorsement letter also provided nothing urgent and concrete for them to urge school principals to accommodate the PNP’s surveillance of their employees,” he added.
On Sunday, ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio asked the PNP to keep its hands off its members, after reports that police personnel were seen going around schools in Metro Manila to gather information about teachers who were allegedly members of the union.
PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde earlier said that he has ordered the relief of intelligence officers from the Manila Manila Police District’s Station 3, Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) Station 6, and the Zambales police’s intelligence unit chief.
He also denied ordering such intelligence operations.
“I will check on that. As far as I am concerned, wala akong pinirmahan na ganyan,” Albayalde said in a press briefing.
According to De Guzman, measures like these also place fear among candidates who will run in the upcoming May 2019 elections, and for teachers who will sit as Board of Election Canvassers.
“Let us remind the PNP hierarchy or even the Interior department that any link or partiality on their part to intervene in the outcome of the 2019 midterm elections whether to promote or hamper the candidacy of any aspirant is an infraction of their mandates,” he noted. /je
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