MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday called for the immediate halt of the supposed police practice of profiling teachers who belong to a Left-linked organization, saying such is discriminatory.
In a statement, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said the profiling of teachers by police officers is a violation of basic human rights.
“Given that this move can easily threaten the basic rights and freedoms of innocent people, we hope the PNP (Philippine National Police) will completely do away with profiling and other similar methods. The police can start the year right by ensuring that no method and operation can compromise the basic freedoms and human dignity of any individual or group,” De Guia said.
The CHR statement came in light of the complaint of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers that police intelligence operatives have been visiting schools around the country for an “inventory” of their members.
ACT secretary-general Raymond Basilio said police checks were done in schools in Tarlac, Bulacan, Cebu, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Zambales, Manila, Navotas, Malabon and Agusan del Sur.
The CHR also warned that the actions of the police may lead to abuses against perceived critics of government.
“Given the climate of harassment and threats against progressive and vocal groups, this move already raises doubts and fears considering that the PNP has not been transparent in doing the profiling and they gave no solid justification nor legitimate aim for such operation. Further, there is a risk that the list can be utilized to repress legitimate concerns or to silence criticisms or opponents,” De Guia said.
Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde had said that he did not authorize the supposed profiling of teachers but stressed that the inquiries were part of “intelligence monitoring” being done by police.