MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) is ready for any case that the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) may file against them, its chief said Tuesday.
This after an intelligence report was leaked that police were profiling some members of ACT, a militant teachers' group affiliated with the leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.
PNP chief Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde said they were ready to answer all accusations and file counter charges as necessary.
“Karapatan naman nila 'yun hindi ba. I think it's up to anybody. Sabi ko nga sa iyo 'yung kapitbahay mo kahit wala kang ginagawa sa iyo puwede mong kasuhan dito sa Pilipinas eh, tatanggapin pa rin ng korte 'yan," he said.
(That's their right. I think it's up to anybody. Like I said, you can file a complaint against your neighbor, even if he didn't do anything to you, the court will still accept it.)
Albayalde said they respect the rights of the teachers as free citizens but they also want to investigate if some ACT members were supporting the Left.
“It's because we want to separate people here. Hindi lahat ng member ng ACT are supporting the Left. Tandaan niyo 'yan kaya kailangan makita kung sino talaga ang sumusuporta in their organization," he said.
(It's because we want to separate people here. Not all members of ACT supports the Left, remember. That is why we have to know who really supports their organization.)
"Kung sino ang sumusuporta dito sa mga rebelde especially 'yung armed rebellion. If you will notice ito 'yung mga ACT, these are teachers. Over the years sa problema natin sa insurgency ang dami nang namatay na kabataan."
(Whoever supports these rebels, especially the armed rebellion. If you will notice this ACT, these are teachers. Over the years our problem on the insurgency is that many young people have died.)
Albayalde added that it was the PNP’s mandate to gather information as a law enforcement agency.
“We are not saying this ACT is the enemy of the state. We are pointing here of individual, not the organization kaya nga (that is why) there are intelligence gathering and we have been doing intelligence gathering since time immemorial," he said.
Albayalde earlier said he did not authorize the supposed profiling of teachers but stressed that the inquiries were part of “intelligence monitoring” being done by police.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has called on the PNP to immediately stop the practice, saying this violated basic human rights.