ACT in Northern Mindanao condemns teacher profiling

THE Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in Northern Mindanao has cried foul as it slammed the police over the alleged profiling of some of its members in the locality.

ACT-Northern Mindanao president Ophelia Tabacon said a certain Senior Police Officer 3 Marvin Boliano, Police Station 2's intelligence chief, sent a letter to the Camaman-an Elementary School on Monday, January 14, requesting for a list of teachers who are ACT members.

"This is a blatant violation of our rights to privacy, and a form of harassment towards us (teachers)," she said.

This, despite the statement made by Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde that he did not sign any order requesting for lists of

ACT members.

The Department of Education (DepEd) also released Memorandum No. 002, series of 2019 entitled "Interagency requests for data that may involve sensitive personal

information" signed by Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, stating that "DepEd hereby directs its officials to refer to interagency requests for data that may involve sharing of sensitive personal information in their custody-whether they may be of teaching or nonteaching personnel, or learners-to the office of the Secretary.

The letter states that "it is the police's responsibility to know where these teachers are assigned," and that the school will "contribute to progress and strengthen the relationship between the organization and the government".

But Rabacon said profiling in a way to threaten ACT members is a clear violation of the right to self-organization, freedom of expression and assembly and right to privacy.

"ACT is a legitimate organization of ordinary teachers who are only hoping for a decent life. You cannot threaten us because fighting for our rights is not against the law. Teachers are religiously paying taxes and even partners of the government towards development," she said.

If there is someone worth profiling, Tabacon said, it should be the corrupt officials stealing money from the public and abusing their power to oppress the marginalized.

Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) spokesperson Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa said, he could not verify yet the veracity of the supposed letter sent to the school.

"If that is true, maybe it came from our intelligence, it did not pass through me. I'm still asking our intelligence chief about this letter," he said.


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