POLICE DIRECTOR General Oscar D. Albayalde said he has ordered the relieved of three intelligence officers who allegedly “leaked” a document ordering the profiling of members of the left-leaning Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party-list, but added that he did not sign any such directive.
“As far as I am concerned, wala akong pinirmahan na ganyan at nung nag-leak ‘yan sinabi nu’ng mga different regional directors kung sino nag-leak (I did not sign any orders and when it leaked, the regional directors told me who made the leak)… I have already ordered for all the intelligence officers involved to be relieved,” he told reporters at a briefing on Monday.
Mr. Albayalde said the three officers came from the Manila Police District Station 3, Quezon City Police District Station 6, and Zambales police office.
He added that intelligence officers are expected to do their job “discreetly” and that “profiling” is simply part of police security measures.
“Hindi naman po na kapag ikaw ay prino-file, ang buhay mo ay delikado, namimiligro (It does not mean that when you are being profiled, your life will be in danger)… This is part of our security preparations, security protocols, maintenance of peace and order in this country,” said Mr. Albayalde.
The supposed order to list teachers in private and public schools who are members of the left-leaning group made rounds in social media over the weekend.
ACT members held a rally Monday in front of Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters, to condemn the directive.
“The singling out of ACT members in PNP’s profiling is enough cause for alarm, especially with the state’s track record of violent suppression of dissent. We cannot sit idly by as PNP sows terror in our schools and communities,” ACT Philippine Secretary General Raymond said in a statement.
Malacañang, meanwhile, said that some ACT members are being monitored by the government because of their alleged connection with the communist armed group New People’s Army (NPA).
In a press briefing on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo initially denied that the government, through the police, is profiling ACT members, but later said, “If there are such cases, there is a reason to surveil. For example, if someone reports to you that this teacher was seen interacting with those identified NPA, if you are the police, won’t you monitor their actions?”
Mr. Basilio described the government officials’ pronouncements as “pathetic and ludicrous.”
“Malacañang and PNP’s statements are pathetic and ridiculously wrong on so many levels. They were already caught red-handed but futilely attempts to deny or lighten the implications of their illegal activity,” he said.
Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya said Secretary Eduardo M. Año is ready to have a dialogue with the Department of Education regarding the alleged crackdown on ACT members.
“Secretary Eduardo M. Año is open to the dialogue requested by the Department of… We would be glad to meet with our partners in DepEd at the soonest possible opportunity,” said Mr. Malaya in a statement on Monday.
“Through this meeting with our counterparts with DepEd, we hope to relay to them that what the PNP is undergoing is not only legal but also necessary,” he added.
In Davao City, Senior Supt. Alexander C. Tagum said the Davao City Police Office has not undertaken any such intelligence gathering because they have not received any order from higher authorities.
“We have not received any order,” Mr. Tagum said when sought for comment.
Reynaldo S. Pardillo, ACT-Davao City Chapter president, confirmed that they have not received reports from members of being surveilled, and said they hope it would stay that way.
“It (surveillance reports) has stirred concerns among our teachers who only wish to receive benefits and salary necessary to support our daily living despite the volume of our work inside and outside the school premises,” Mr. Pardillo said.
The ACT-Davao City Chapter was in a discord with the local government in Oct. last year after Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio denied the group’s demand for a P406 million annual subsidy covering 11,959 teaching and non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd).
Ms. Carpio asserted that there is no basis in law for the local government unit to provide such assistance to national government employees, specifically the DepEd, and asked the group to submit another proposal for assistance. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, Arjay L. Balinbin and Carmelito Q. Francisco