MANILA – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) demanded Thursday the release of one of its members in Caraga region who the progressive group said was arrested by authorities on a trumped-up charge.
Police arrested Rosanilla “Lai” Consad on Wednesday evening in Butuan City for an attempted homicide case in Agusan del Norte. She was also identified by authorities as a member of a “communist terrorist group.”
In a statement, the teachers’ group noted that the arrest of Consad, a public school vice principal who also serves as ACT union secretary in Caraga, came following the issuance of a memorandum from the Department of the Interior and Local Government that identified ACT as a front organization for communist rebels.
“Teacher Lai’s case only proves further that terrorist-tagging serves as a prelude to worse, more fascist attacks on rights, freedoms, and lives,” ACT said.
“We demand that trumped up charges against Teacher Lai be dropped at once and she be immediately released from incarceration. We demand that all state forces who partook in the incessant attacks and harassment against her be investigated and held liable,” it added.
ACT also called on the Department of Education to defend its teachers.
The group also said Consad has been a target of “red-tagging” propaganda in Caraga since 2018 and took part in exposing alleged police profiling of ACT members the following year.
“She has reported being tailed on her travels to and from school and surveilled even at her home,” ACT said.
Local police, however, maintained that Consad was arrested for attacking and shooting a CAFGU member, and not because she was a member of a sectoral group.
Also on Thursday, several lawmakers called on the House of Representatives to investigate the profiling of lawyers who represent “red-tagged” activists.
In calling for the investigation, Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman noted that members of ACT and labor group Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) are also “being profiled… for their membership in said organizations.”
– With a report from Charmane Awitan