A SCHOOL principal confirmed the police is currently undertaking profiling of members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in the city.
Pinsao Elementary School Principal Ligaya Annawi confirmed the presence of two police personnel who visited their school on Monday and gave a letter signed by Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) Station 2 Commander Police Senior Inspector Arnold Yango Lising dated January 7.
The letter asked the school head for an inventory of teachers in the school who are members aligned with the ACT and with reference to the 2019 midterm elections.
“When the female policewoman came together with a male in civilian clothes, they presented me with the letter and upon reading the contents of the letter, I asked her why are they doing this and what is the relationship of the ACT survey to the midterm elections?” Annawi asked.
The policewoman answered that she was just following orders.
Annawi, who is also an active member of the ACT received the letter but denied their request.
“I will not give any information about my co-teachers because that is an intrusion to our privacy and a violation of the Data Privacy Act,” Annawi said.
She added that she will never divulge any information of her co-teachers who are aligned or members of any organization.
But BCPO city director Senior Superintendent Eliseo Tanding clarified there were no directives from his office to profile any members of ACT in the city.
“The state has the mandate or responsibility to protect its citizens from the enemies of the state, but ACT members in Baguio City should not worry if it was not associated with any rebel groups,” Tanding said.
The City Director pointed out an earlier statement by exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison mentioning ACT and other left-leaning organizations like Gabriela and Makabayan as their front organizations.
Police Regional Office Cordillera (PRO-COR) Director Rolando Nana in a phone interview said no such directives coming from his office was ever released.
“I have not given any directive regarding that matter,” said Nana.
Tanding added “since we are in a democratic country, it is the right of any individual to file charges they see fit if they feel that their rights have been violated, but it is still the duty and mandate of the state to protect its people against enemies of the state.”
ACT is considering the filing of charges against the Philippine National Police (PNP) and even the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for profiling its members.
ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio in a statement said they are exploring possible violations of data privacy laws and even election laws by police and possibly the DILG through the Office of the Ombudsman.
On Monday, Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde sacked several police personnel who conducted profiling of ACT members in various areas of the country.