PNP exec surprised at ACT petition to stop profiling its members
MANILA, Philippines — A high-ranking official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Thursday that he is surprised at the move of the party-list group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) to seek help from the court to stop the police from profiling its members.
In a petition submitted through the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), ACT had urged the Court of Appeals (CA) to issue a restraining order to the intelligence gathering operations of the PNP in identifying its members in schools.
The petition also asked the CA to declare the memorandum released by the PNP Directorate for Intelligence directing the information gathering as unconstitutional .
“We’d rather reserve our point-by-point rebuttal to the issues raised by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers before the proper forum at the most appropriate time,” PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. said in a statement on Thursday.
“However, I am surprised at the propriety of questioning the wisdom of state policy declared in the fundamental law of the land,” he said.
Durana maintained that the PNP is mandated to enforce the law and ensure peace and order in the country.
The PNP earlier said the intelligence operation aims to identify teachers who support the communist movement. PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde likewise claimed that Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, tagged ACT as one of its legal fronts.
“Gathering intelligence allows the state to distinguish genuine progressives from unrepentant communist terrorists out to overthrow a duly elected government through violent means,” Durana said.
Durana noted that the scope of the Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (Section IV, Paragraph E) does not apply to “information necessary in order to carry out the functions of public authority, which includes the processing of personal data for the performance by the independent, central monetary authority and law enforcement and regulatory agencies of their constitutionally and statutorily mandated functions.” /ee
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