ACT to appeal CA ruling
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Friday said it would appeal a court decision released on Thursday denying its petition for prohibition, following the profiling carried out by the Philippine National Police of its members.
“ACT will file a motion for reconsideration. With truth and reason on our side, so should justice be this time around,” the group said.
On Jan. 17, ACT members who were subjected to police intelligence filed the petition before the Court of Appeals (CA) with an urgent request for the issuance of temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction against PNP officials, including police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and Metro Manila Police chief Director Guillermo Eleazar.
The petition was filed by ACT through its national chair Joselyn Martirez and secretary general Raymond Basilio.
But in a four-page resolution, the CA’s 11th division dismissed the petition for failure to meet the requirements set under Rule 65 concerning Rule 46 of the Rules of Court, which include submitting certified true copies of the memoranda issued by the PNP’s intelligence units to launch nationwide profiling of ACT members.
“A motion for reconsideration or manifestation of compliance to address the supposed ‘procedural infirmities’ is in order,” said National Union People’s Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre Olalia, cocounsel of ACT.
Olalia said the justices should have looked beyond the lapses.
“We firmly cling to the long-established adage that procedural rules must yield to the overriding import of substantive justice,” Olalia said.
ACT said the CA should take into account the “alarm and distress” that teachers experience in the midst of “state-perpetuated attacks,” instead of giving more substantive consideration to technicality issues.
“Teachers’ fundamental rights to association, free expression and privacy are at stake. Such decision might send the wrong message that illegal profiling of legitimate organizations and common citizens is all right, and it may further embolden the PNP in their illegal surveillance activities against civilians,” ACT said.
ACT said teacher-unionists from at least 10 regions had reported continuing surveillance and aggravating harassment against ACT leaders and members.
Basilio allegedly received death threats and was constantly being followed.
A man allegedly approached Basilio on Jan. 23 in front of SM North and told him, “Ikaw na ang susunod (You’re next),” as he was alighting from a taxi.
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