DepEd revokes endorsement of police inventory on ACT teachers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2019 05:39 PM

MANILA - The Department of Education on Monday ordered its Manila division to revoke its endorsement of a police memo to conduct an inventory of members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers. 

In a press statement, DepEd confirmed that its Manila division endorsed the police memo in a letter it issued through an Acting Division Superintendent. 

"In consultation with the concerned Regional Office, the recall of this forwarding letter has been directed," the DepEd said, adding that no other division issues similar endorsements.

The recall came after the national police chief himself, Director General Oscar Albayalde, denied that he ordered the identification of ACT teachers in different schools in the country.

DepEd also denied receiving a memo from the Philippine National Police. It said any request for personal information should be evaluated based on existing laws, including the Data Privacy Act.

ACT, which is affiliated with the Leftist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, earlier said police officers came to several schools, asking for the names of teachers associated with them.

"Some areas, like Manila and Zambales, even have memo from the division offices of the Department of Education," said ACT secretary-general Raymond Basilio. 

Similar incidents, Basilio said, have been reported since the start of 2019 in Tarlac, Bulacan, Cebu, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Zambales, Manila, Navotas, Malabon and Agusan del Sur.

Albayalde already sacked three intelligence officers from Manila, Quezon City, and Zambales behind the "leaked" memo that ordered the inventory of ACT teachers. 

He denied that the police were profiling the educators, saying it was just part of their "intelligence monitoring." However, the PNP chief admitted that he still needs to clarify the real motive behind this.

ACT condemned earlier compared the "police profiling" to the narco list of law enforcers. They also insisted that the police have no right to get their members' names without their knowledge. 

"PNP, back off! Hands off our teachers! Hands off our schools! Stop profiling ACT members! Junk all memoranda on profiling of ACT members!" ACT said.

ACT stressed that it is a legitimate organization of teachers with a long history of service, and are recognized by the the Civil Service Commission and Department of Education.