MANILA - Progressive teachers' union Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Monday denied it is a front organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
"Kung front organization po kami, hindi niyo po ako makikita dito. Kung front organization po kami, kami ay hindi nagtuturo, kami po ay nasa kabundukan," ACT secretary general Raymond Sabilio told "Bandila sa DZMM."
(If we are a front organization, I will not be here. If we are a front organization, we will not be teaching, we are in the mountains.)
He said ACT has been on the frontlines fighting for wage increase of teachers and the education sector. Established in 1982, ACT is the largest non-traditional teachers’ organization in the country.
Sabilio refuted claims made by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde that ACT was mentioned by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison as part of the communist movement in the country.
"May 2 grupo na kumikilos na naglalaban sa mga usaping ganito. May ilegal, may mga demokratikong legal. Binanggit niya isa ang ACT doon, hindi niya binangit na kami ay front organization," he said.
(There are two groups fighting for things like this. There's illegal and legal democratic forces. He (Sison) mentioned ACT as one of them. He didnt' say we are a front organization.)
ACT earlier condemned the police for the reported surveillance of its members following the leak of an internal memorandum.
In a press conference Monday, Albayalde denied ordering the alleged profiling. Instead, he said the police are only doing "intelligence monitoring."
He already sacked 3 intelligence officers from Manila, Quezon City, and Zambales behind the leaked memorandum.
Sabilio called on the police to stop the activity after several teachers reported that policemen still visited and questioned them.
He reiterated they have a right to self-organization, freedom of expression and assembly, and right to privacy, among others.
In the same interview, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Guillermo Eleazar said they are investigating who ordered the activity, but stressed there was nothing wrong for the police to ask questions from the public.
"Wala kayong dapat ikatakot kung wala kayong ginagawang masama... Ang pulis gagalaw kami kung may ebidensiya na kayo ay may ginagawang masama," he said.
(You have nothing to fear if you are not doing anything illegal...The police will only act if there's evidence you are engaged in anything illegal.)
On its part, Malacañang had defended the police, saying it's part of their job.