PNP defends profiling of ACT members

January 07, 2019
Oscar D. Albayalde

PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said there’s nothing wrong with profiling members of the supposed left-leaning teachers’ union Alliance of Concerned Teachers but at the same time ordered the administrative relief of three of his intelligence officers who supposedly leaked the report to the media and the tutors themselves.

Ordered relieved from their posts were the intelligence chiefs of the Manila Police District Station 3 and Quezon City Police District Station 6 as well as the intelligence chief of the Zambales Police Provincial Office.

The PNP chief said that he ordered the investigation of the three since internal communication should remain confidential and must not be leaked to the public to avoid alarming the people concerned.

Albayalde said he did not sign any such memorandum and added that most probably, there is “carelessness” on the part of some of his men.

He explained that if the memorandum really came from the PNP Directorate for Intelligence, it should remain for internal consumption only. He added that different PNP directorial staffs release their own routine reports and memorandum which do not go to the Office of the Chief, PNP.

Gen. Albayalde however said that as far as he is concerned, any such memorandum cannot be used to harass ACT members, not unless they are guilty of a crime.

“As I’ve said, I did not specifically order gathering of information on ACT members. But I will be extremely surprised if our intelligence community has not done so on ACT and other front organisations of the Communist Party of the Philippines identified by Jose Ma. Sison,” the PNP chief said.

“It is the duty of the state to protect its citizens and its interests against the enemies of the state (Communist Terrorist Groups or CPP/NPA) and its allies or front organisations enumerated by Jose Ma. Sison such as BAYAN, KMU, KMP, LFS, GABRIELLA, ACT, KADENA, etc.

Gathering intelligence will allow 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,” he added.

“Now that Sison himself has identified ACT as a front organization of the CPP/NPA/NDF, the burden is now upon members of ACT to dissociate themselves from this terrorist organization and denounce its infiltration, manipulation, and use of the ranks of Filipino educators,” Gen. Albayalde said.

National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said that even assuming that there are indeed such moves, he believes there is nothing wrong with it since its part of their mandate to find out what is happening in the country.

Eleazar said it’s good for intelligence officers to have “many open sources” instead of just getting information on ACT from the Civil Service Commission and skipping its rounds in schools. However, he gave the assurance that police will not abuse the information it gathered. “Alam namin ang tama at mali at hindi kami gagawa ng mali at hindi kami magto-tolerate ng anumang mali,” he said.
Normal police work

Malacañang also said there is nothing wrong with the PNP's reported surveillance of ACT.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said authorities will only monitor members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers who have ties with communist rebels "if they have shown any acts that will be inimical to the state."

These efforts are part of the job of the police, he said.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers claimed over the weekend that police officers recently visited schools in Malabon, Cebu, Isabela and some Mindanao provinces, asking for the names of their members.

The supposed profiling is meant to stifle "all forms of opposition," claimed ACT, which last year earned the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, for claiming that her city does not give allowances to teachers.

"Assuming na kung mayroon nito, mayroon po bang mali sa ginagawa pagkuha ng impormasyon? Iyung pagkuha po ng impomasyon sa iba't ibang organisasyon, bahagi po ng trabaho namin iyan," said Metro Manila police chief Director Guillermo Eleazar.

"Talagang mandato po namin na alamin ang nangyayari sa ating kapaligiran para sa ating programa," he added.
Eleazar said it's good for intelligence officers to have "many open sources" instead of just getting information on ACT from the Civil Service Commission and skipping schools.

With EMontano, Arlene Rivera