Castro chides DepEd’s alleged drive linking ACT party list with CPP/NPA
MANILA, Philippines — ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro has accused a Department of Education (DepEd) official of lying after he supposedly linked her party list, her organization and a former lawmaker to communist rebels.
In a statement on Friday, Castro said DepEd Undersecretary Revsee Ecobedo had used a meeting with Quezon city’s school superintendents to allegedly disseminate falsehoods.
“Just yesterday, it (DepEd) used the Management Committee meeting of School Division Superintendents held in Quezon city to again spread lies about ACT Philippines, ACT Teachers party-list and even former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo,” she said.
“Is this where the humongous confidential funds of the DepEd go? To surveil, profile and harass teachers who are the backbone of the education sector?” she asked.
In an earlier press briefing, Castro narrated that school officials were reportedly bewildered as to why the topic on communism was discussed in the meeting.
She said Education Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo was supposed to speak, but instead, he passed on the task to an official of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
“Nagtaka ‘yong mga principal no’ng tawagin na si Usec. Revsee Escobedo, ay ang pinagsalita niya ay miyembro ng NTF-ELCAC, at isang witness daw from UP ‘yung pinagsalita niya na (tungkol sa) mga rebel returnees, kaugnay na naman do’n sa mga red-tagging,” Castro said.
(The principals were bewildered because when Usec. Revsee Escobedo was called, he made a member of NTF-ELCAC speak on his behalf and one witness supposedly from UP was the one he made to talk about rebel returnees, about red-tagging.)
“Itong si Usec. Revsee Escobedo na ‘to, wala na ba itong magawa?” Castro asked.
(This Usec. Revsee Escobedo, does he have nothing else to do?)
“Alam ko ay ito naman ay utos ‘yan ng nakatataas sa kanila, pero wala na ba kayong ibang pwedeng gawin para makatulong do’n sa problema natin sa edukasyon, dahil nasa learning crisis pa tayo, and yet ang pinagkaka-abalahan ninyo ay red-tagging?” she posed another question to DepEd.
(I know that’s the instruction of their higher officials, but do they have nothing else to do to help address our problem on education, because are still in a learning crisis, and yet what you are preoccupying yourselves with red-tagging?)
Castro’s office sent reporters photos showing DepEd making a presentation about Castro and Ocampo allegedly kidnapping Lumad minors — in reference to the abduction cases filed against the two activists in 2018.
Another photo showed Castro and Ocampo’s mugshots, including the words “recruitment among teachers.”
For Castro, the DepEd presentation seemed to indicate that ACT is supposedly part of a massive recruitment operation by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA).