Cops try to arrest unionist-teacher while in Math class
A public school teacher and government union leader in Malabon City, who was sued last year by her principal for alleged falsification of public documents, decried an attempt by the police to arrest her in the middle of her class on Monday.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Joselyn Martinez, chair of the Metro Manila chapter of the Alliance for Concerned Teachers (ACT), said three officers in plainclothes tried to serve an arrest warrant while she was conducting her Math class in the morning at Imelda Elementary School in Barangay Longos.
Martinez asked the officers to wait until after the class. But when shown the warrant, she pointed out several errors in the document and refused to go with them.
For one, she said, the warrant misnamed her as “Jocelyn Ramirez.” It also got her address wrong.
“They said the complainant (school principal Melinda San Pedro) had pointed me out to them. But she was not there and they were not in uniform.”
The three policemen eventually apologized to her and left, but not “after following me around,” she recalled.
“This is just plain harassment against me by the school. They know that I am an outspoken critic of some of the policies here, especially with regards to internal reports, billing systems (and) even national issues,” Martinez added.
With San Pedro serving as complainant, Martinez is accused of falsifying her daily time records to have herself excused from regular class so she could attend a conference in June last year. The case is pending before Judge Celso Magsino Jr. of Malabon Regional Trial Court Branch 74, who issued the warrant on Dec. 12, 2017.
Reached for comment, San Pedro said she could not discuss the case as it was already in court, as well as the attempt to arrest the teacher.
Martinez, who also heads the Malabon Public Elementary School Teachers’ Association, dismissed the falsification charges as part of the school’s attempts to impede her union work. “I even learned that the other teachers had been told not to share my Facebook posts (about school and national issues). They don’t like that.”
The Malabon police chief, Senior Supt. John Chua, confirmed that his men went to the school to arrest Martinez but immediately left after realizing the error.
He explained that the three officers went there in civilian clothes to avoid causing unnecessary alarm on the campus.
“They were just there to assist the complainant. It was the fiscal who made the error in the warrant. Even so, (Martinez) needs to answer the charges,” Chua said.
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