Teacher calls out Robredo for supporting NTF-Elcac
MANILA, Philippines — A public school teacher called out Vice President Leni Robredo for supporting the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) even as Robredo called for “true and radical solidarity” in her speech at the Ramon Magsaysay Awards.
Special education teacher Rosanilla Consad, assistant principal at San Vicente National High School in Butuan City, urged Robredo to reconsider her support for the group that filed allegedly trumped-up charges against her.
“I am just one of the many teachers who are victims of the human rights violation and academic freedom of the Duterte administration and NTF-Elcac. What’s even more worrisome is that our students and institutions are also experiencing these,” she said.
Consad claimed in a handwritten letter to Robredo that the NTF-Elcac accused her of being a member of the New People’s Army that ambushed government troops in Santiago, Agusan del Norte.
The attempted homicide charges against her and her husband were dismissed by the court in Tubay, Agusan del Norte, for “total lack of evidence.”
But Consad, secretary of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers in the Caraga region, said she and other perceived “radicals” still need support.
“We believe that the abolishment of the NTF-Elcac is integral to your promise of standing up again. We are calling you, VP Leni, to stand by the teachers, students and citizens—we whom you wish to serve as president in the coming years,” Consad wrote.
In her speech at the online awarding rites on Tuesday, Robredo lauded this year’s awardees, saying the resumption of the awards is “not necessarily in triumph over a darkness that still lurks, but in recognition of the human spirit that cannot be dimmed despite that darkness.”
This year’s laureates are fisher and community environmentalist Robert “Ka Dodoy” Ballon (Philippines); humanitarian and peace builder Steven Muncy (Southeast Asia); affordable medicine champion Firdausi Qadri (Bangladesh); poverty alleviation visionary Muhammad Amjad Saqib (Pakistan); and media truth crusader Watchdoc (Indonesia).
“This is the lesson of the pandemic: We need to build a future of true and radical solidarity … where private individuals and organizations need not fill the gaps in the system with their compassion because the system itself is compassionate,” said Robredo.
The vice president also highlighted the need to consistently uphold human rights, freedom, fairness, and dignity — not only when it is convenient — and to teach the young to be empathic to the suffering of others.
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