PNP chief says ACT harassment claims are unproven allegations
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde on Monday (July 1) described claims made by a group of militant teachers that state forces were harassing its members as mere unproven allegations.
The group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) had filed a supplemental petition at the Court of Appeals (CA) telling the court that the harassment by law enforcers of ACT members continued in the form of profiling and other methods.
“These are all allegations,” Albayalde said in an ambush interview.
“These are all mere allegations, and I think that is one way of protecting themselves,” he said.
He said the PNP acts only according to its legal mandate and does not tolerate abuses committed by its men or officers.
Albayalde added that militant groups, including ACT, often raise issues of abuse against law enforcement agencies “but then nothing prospers in what they do.” “It’s because everything is fabricated,” he added.
The PNP chief said police have already stopped conducting background checks on ACT members which the group had tagged as profiling.
Background checks, Albayalde said, are a normal part of police work especially on those applying for licenses to own and possess guns.
He said even teachers were subjected to background checks especially if they were new hires.
The process is not unique to teachers, he said. “This happens to any one,” Albayalde said.
He admitted though, that background checks are being conducted on the request of anyone who wants to investigate any individual’s past or possible involvement in rebellion.
Albayalde said the PNP would continue to conduct background checks on ACT members as long as the Department of Education or Commission on Higher Education request police to do so.
He said police have to “validate” information being passed on by the two agencies. “We cannot sleep on that,” Albayalde added. (Editor: Tony Bergonia)