ACT prods CA anew to stop PNP from profiling its members
MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has asked the Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision junking their bid to stop the Philippine National Police (PNP) from profiling their members, saying the outright dismissal is “too harsh.”
The Appeals Court dismissed the petition last month, citing infirmities in the petition as ground for rejecting the petition, particularly the failure of petitioners to submit certified true copies of the assailed memoranda issued by the PNP’s intelligence units.
It held 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.
Both 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 court also cited the failure of ACT to state material dates in their petition, specifically the dates when the petitioners received the various assailed PNP Memoranda.
But in their motion for reconsideration, ACT, through the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) argued that how can they attach certified true copies of the PNP memoranda when they have already explained that the PNP itself publicly denied is existence.
“It was unrealistic if not virtually impossible for Petitioners to have obtained the same from Respondents’ offices,” read the motion.
They added that they made the request to PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde but their request remains unheeded.
Assuming that there are procedural lapses in the main petition, ACT said the Supreme Court itself has relaxed procedural rules to serve substantial justice considering matters of life, liberty, honor or property, if there are compelling circumstances, if the procedural lapses is not entirely attributable to the party.
“Time still remains of the essence as teachers continue to be subjected to the nefarious consequences of being profiled as ACT members. The Court, therefore, must heed the relief they are seeking to prevent further and worse harm to their persons and organization brought by the assailed profiling,” the motion stated.
“How it [this case] is decided will necessarily set a precedent as to how the courts, as the people’s refuge for the protection of their substantive rights, deal with reprehensible acts of law enforcement authorities,” it further stated.
In their petition, the ACT officers and members sought issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order stopping the implementation of the memoranda issued by the PNP ordering its members to conduct an inventory of all teachers who belong to ACT.
They asked the CA to strike down the assailed memoranda issued by the PNP’s intelligence units last month as unconstitutional.
Petitioners said the assailed order violates their rights under Article III, Section 8 in relation to Article III, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution.
The petition, however was dismissed outright on technicality. The appeals court no longer sought the comment or explanation from the PNP. /je
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