Crackdown against teachers, condemned

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), teachers, lawyers and human rights defenders denounced the order of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct surveillance on members and allies of ACT last January 6.

Teachers from the Manila Public School Teachers Association and ACT protested in front of the office of the Department of Education-Manila last January 7. They conducted a dialogue with the office to inquire if they permitted the surveillance.

On the same day, progressive organizations protested in front of Camp Crame in Quezon City to condemn the surveillance operations of the PNP. This, they asserted, is an outright violation on the teachers’ right to organize and free expression.

The PNP’s plan was exposed after militant teachers acquired a copy of the memorandum from the chief of Zambales Police Provincial Office commanding police chiefs of every municipality to list down all public and private school teachers affiliated to ACT.

Even though there is no official national memorandum, the surveillance covered all schools nationwide. ACT reported the inspection of police officers in public and private schools in Manila, Quezon City, Bulacan, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Agusan del Sur. In Manila, six teachers have been ‘visited’ by intelligence agents.

The surveillance operations intend to intimidate members of the ACT and teachers who have long fought for their rights, and compel them to follow Duterte’s orders in manipulating the upcoming midterm elections.

Duterte is wasting public funds to repress them while neglecting the demands of the sector for salary increase and benefits for so long.

This forms part of the massive surveillance on students, journalists, lawyers and other democratic sectors, organizations and alliances, including progressive party-lists to set them up for arrests or extra-judicial killings.

This move will broaden and strengthen the opposition and the resistance of the people. Contrary to the regime’s goal of silencing the people, this will further ignite various sectors to unite and end Duterte’s fascist, corrupt and puppet regime.