THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police welcomed the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) to dismiss the petition filed by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) against Secretary Eduardo Ano and national police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.
In a statement, DILG Asst. Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that it was clear from the CA’s standpoint that the petition by ACT is indeed noting but propaganda to gain some publicity especially now that the partylist election is months away.
“We welcome the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in outrightly dismissing the petition filed by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) which contained malicious and groundless accusations that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has allegedly violated the constitutional right of freedom of association of their members,” Malaya said.
Basing on the CA’s decision, the DILG official said that the petition was clearly half-baked containing elementary errors which a well-prepared lawyer would never commit.
At the same time, Malaya said it baffled them why ACT filed such a petition which is bereft of verifiable evidence or proof to support its baseless allegations of a police crackdown on its members.
PNP lauds CA ruling
Maintaining that it is merely enforcing its duty to protect the State from its enemies, the PNP welcomed the dismissal of the ACT petition to stop the police force from “profiling” their members.
“The PNP welcomes the denial by the Court of Appeals of the petition filed by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers seeking court action against the lawful performance of duty by the PNP to protect the state from its enemies.
“We maintain that all our activities and operations are well within our lawful mandate and constantly under the presumption of regularity,” said PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Bernard M. Banac in a press statement.
The PNP leadership earlier maintained that it is their duty to enforce the law and protect the citizens of the land amid questions raised by the ACT on the reported police background check being conducted on some of their members amid a statement by self-exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison that they are one of their “fronts” in the country.
“We’d rather reserve our point-by-point rebuttal to the issues raised by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers before the proper forum at the most appropriate time. However I am surprised at the propriety of questioning the wisdom of state policy declared in the fundamental law of the land,” former PNP spokesman and now PNP Director for Police-Community Relations, Chief Supt. Benigno B. Durana Jr. said.
Durana emphasized that that the PNP is the national police force mandated with the duty to enforce the law and maintain peace and order as a function of government consistent with state policy declared in Article II Section 5 of the Constitution that “the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.”
“It is the duty of the state to protect its citizens and the national interest against the enemies of the state (Communist Terrorist Groups or CPP/NPA) including their allies or front organisations specifically those enumerated by Jose Ma. Sison, no less, such as BAYAN, GABRIELLA, ACT, KMP, LFS, KMU, etc.,” he said.
According to the PNP spokesperson, “gathering intelligence allows the state to distinguish genuine progressives from unrepentant communist terrorists out to overthrow a duly elected government through violent means; routinely extort, burn and loot assets of businesses that gave livelihood to peace-loving citizens of this country.”
“It should be understood that the scope of Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012, specifically does not apply to “Information necessary in order to carry out the functions of public authority which includes the processing of personal data for the performance by the independent, central monetary authority and law enforcement and regulatory agencies of their constitutionally and statutorily mandated functions.” (Section 4 Paragraph E).”
Durana said that the PNP recognizes ACT as a legitimate union of teachers in the Philippines established since 1982 for the purpose of protecting the rights of teachers.