June 21, 2018
QUEZON CITY – Enraged mentors under the Alliance of Concerned Teachers condemned PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino’s proposal to subject pupils and teachers to mandatory drug testing, saying that the Duterte regime’s drug war has no place in schools.
"The Duterte regime's bloody drug war has gone beyond insane to intimate that any 9-year-old kid could be a drug suspect. We should not permit this to happen. Schools are no playground for Tokhang," Raymond Basilio, ACT Philippines Secretary-General said in reaction to Dir. Gen. Aquino’s statement that he would suggest to the Department of Education the mandatory drug-testing of pupils from Grade 4 and up, as well as teachers.
Basilio said the drug-testing will sow terror in schools, will disturbed the students and will destroy the sanctity of schools as safe places for learning. Mandatory drug testing is also a blatant violation of the rights of children and teachers, he explained.
“The cited survey is not enough justification to put the well-being and future of our children in peril,” Basilio argued.
Basilio said that the government's line of thinking is very dangerous as apart from the drug test of nine-year-olds, a bill to decrease the age of criminal liability to the same level is pending in Congress.
“The State who has the responsibility to protect our youth apparently wants to make criminals out of them," said Basilio.
Basilio added that PDEA Chief's proposal is a great insult to teachers.
"This government does not run out of ideas to denigrate the integrity of the teaching profession. First it suggested that we are brats for asking for salary increase. Then they painted us as whiners for standing against overwork. Now, they insinuate that we are drug addicts,” Basilio said.
"This government should disabuse itself of its belief that we are a nation of drug addicts. What we are is a nation deep in economic crisis. It is where they should focus." Basilio suggested.
Basilio that what the teachers and the people need are the jobs, wage increase, scrapping of regressive taxes and free and quality education and other social services.
"They will be wasting a lot of people's money to test some 20 million pupils and 700,000 teachers for drug use. It should be dedicated instead to uplifting the quality of education and upgrading teachers' salaries," Basilio concluded.