Progressive teachers said they have monitored at least 34 visits by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to schools nationwide to look for teachers to “profile” as “communists”.
Since the start of the year, ACT said the PNP’s profiling activities have spread to 10 regions nationwide.
In a forum at the College of Education of the University of the Philippines in Diliman Thursday, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said 13 schools in Metro Manila; four each in Regions I, III and IV-A; three in Region V (Bicol); two in the Cordillera Autonomous Region and one each in Regions IV-B, VI, X, and CARAGA were visited by the police.
School administrators were asked to give personal details of teachers who are ACT members, the group said.
In a memorandum dated December 27, the PNP ordered an inventory of ACT members the teacher’s federation said is “part and parcel of the Duterte regime’s grand fascist scheme to suppress all forms of opposition to its tyrannical rule.”
Despite widespread condemnation of the PNP’s memorandum, ACT said police harassments continue.
In his speech, ACT secretary general Raymond Basilio condemned the PNP’s activities against ACT.
“If the police is really looking for criminals, it should look at itself, the military camps, or Malacañan Palace,” Basilio said.
ACT added that on top of police profiling, it has recorded nine cases of threats against its officers and members.
Basilio said he was among the four mentors who received death threats early this week.
“I miss my home and sleeping in my own bed. I have been staying in places other than my home because of what they may do to me,” he said.
The forum was attended by Education International (EI) officials.
In a Facebook post, ACT Teachers Party Representative Antonio Tinio said the EI visited Manila to show solidarity with ACT in its struggle against the Duterte administration’s surveillance, harassment, and terrorist-tagging.
ACT and EI launched the Teachers’ Complaint Hotline and Legal Kiosk (Teachers CHALK), a teacher’ defense system against state attacks.
Teachers’ CHALK is a hotline for teacher-victims of state violence and aims to encourage the public to support the teachers’ efforts to defend their ranks through social media campaign, rights education, legal defense, quick reaction mass activities, ACT said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)