MANILA - There is no police crackdown on teachers contrary to allegations of some groups of educators, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday.
In a statement, Año defended the Philippine National Police (PNP) from allegations of illegally profiling members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), saying police officers have done nothing to violate their rights.
"Allegations of a police crackdown on ACT (Alliance of Concerned Teachers) is absolutely devoid of basis or evidence and is merely a propaganda ploy to earn precious media mileage ahead of the party-list elections in May," Año said in a statement.
ACT is allied with the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.
ACT earlier claimed that police officers made rounds in schools and asked for names of the group's members in Malabon, Cebu, Isabela and some Mindanao provinces.
On Thursday, several teachers' organizations asked the Court of Appeals to block the allegedly illegal police profiling of their ranks.
“This is just a first step of a host of legal actions that we will undertake against the illegal profiling, intimidation and harassment that the PNP carries out against us teachers," ACT chairperson Joselyn Martinez said in a statement.
Año said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the PNP welcome the filing of the case and noted that "intelligence gathering is a task routinely done by law enforcement officers all over the world as part of their mandate."
"I wish to emphasize that the PNP has done nothing to violate any of the rights mentioned in the petition," he said.
He also assured the public that the PNP would follow the law in maintaining public safety and security.
"The DILG and PNP shall continue to religiously fulfill its duty to maintain peace and order and to take all necessary steps to ensure public safety within the bounds of law," Año said.