By Alliance of Concerned Teachers
January 17, 2019
QUEZON CITY – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) filed a petition before the Court of Appeals today to seek remedy to the ongoing profiling operations being conducted by the Philippine Nationals Police (PNP) against their organization. ACT asks the CA to nullify all existing PNP directives to profile its membership and order the prohibition of the conduct of all operations that harass its leaders and members.
“This is just a first step of a host of legal actions that we will undertake against the illegal profiling, intimidation and harassment that the PNP carries out against us teachers. The profiling operations are evidently illegal as they violate our constitutionally-guaranteed rights to free expression, association and privacy, as well as pertinent laws,” declared Joselyn Martinez, chairperson of ACT Philippines.
ACT included PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde, Police Intelligence Director Gregorio Pimentel, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, as well as ten police regional directors of Cordillera Administrative Region, National Capital Region, Regions I, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, X and XIII as respondents to the case.
“The expanse of the reports we received regarding the profiling operations reveals its nationwide character, which shows that the top officials of the PNP and the DILG should be held liable. Anyway, the fish was already caught in their mouths as instead of categorically denying and denouncing the operations, they have justified it and laid ACT members vulnerable to further harm by red-tagging our organization,” explained Martinez.
The Petition for Prohibition with Urgent Prayer for the Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction cited first-hand accounts of ACT leaders and members who were victims of illegal profiling, person-specific surveillance and harassments perpetrated by police and military officers in the Cordillera Administrative Region, National Capital Region, Regions I, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, X and XIII, as well as death threats issued against leaders at the height of the profiling issue.
“We are determined to frustrate these vile acts of the state forces against teachers through our solid unity and hold the perpetrators accountable, be it through the parliament of the street, lobbying or legal battle as our fight is not just for the sector but a fight to uphold democracy, against tyrannical forces,” underscored Martinez.
She added that ‘while we face this battle against repression, we equally invest our energies to intensify our struggle for decent salaries. No amount of intimidation and harassment can distract us from or dampen our resolve to forward our legitimate demands,” Martinez averred.
Petitioners of the case include the ACT Philippines, ACT National Capital Region Union, ACT Region III Union and the Manila Public School Teachers Association. They are joined by their legal counsels from the National Union of People’s Lawyers.