Makabayan bloc seeks House probe into 'profiling' of ACT teachers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 08 2019 12:16 PM

MANILA - Makabayan bloc lawmakers are urging the House of Representatives to look into the alleged police memo to profile members of the Left-wing group, Alliance of Concerned Teachers.

The lawmakers said the memo, which policemen brought when they visited schools, can be used to blackmail individuals and groups and influence the upcoming elections.

"Such memo seems to play on the Red October scenario of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and can also be used to blackmail individuals, organizations, and candidates by state forces and influence the coming 2019 elections," the resolution said.

ACT teachers from different parts of the country earlier reported police officers visiting their schools to ask for their names, showing a supposed memo from the intelligence division.

National police chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, already denied issuing such order and proceeded to sack three officers who "leaked" the memo.

According to the Makabayan bloc, the police memo referenced to a 2018 "periodic situation report" on "threat groups," which also mentions "communist terrorist groups-legal struggle."

The "legal struggle" component, the lawmakers added," includes "mass protest actions," which for them instills the wrong mindset on those who join protests.

"The said memo instills the wrong and dangerous militarist mindset of treating advocating change, those who join rallies and basically exercising their constitutional rights and freedom of expression and assembly, as enemies of the state," the resolution said.

Lawmakers added that the police memo included a part that orders officers to identify candidates in the 2019 elections who are allegedly supported by communists.

The resolution was signed by representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro of ACT-Teachers; Arlene Brosas and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela; Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis; Sarah Elago of Kabataan, and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers, which is affiliated with the Leftist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, maintained that they are a legitimate group that helps educators in the country and duly organized by concerned government agencies.

--report from Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News