form human barricade outside their office vs. threat of AFP-PNP
office raid. Tarp behind them says, "AFP-PNP, Back Off!
Bawal magtanim ng ebidensya rito!"
terrorism! Defend rights and freedom! Uphold democracy!
A Press Statement by the
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines on the AFP-PNP
crackdown on activists
November 7, 2019
The Alliance of Concerned
Teachers (ACT) Philippines condemns the Duterte administration’s
intensifying attacks on the Filipino people who continue to struggle
for peace and democracy in the country. The series of raids and
arrests of progressive organizations in Negros and Metro Manila aims
to sow terror among dissidents and to quell the growing unrest of
the people who have long been suffering due to state neglect.
The crackdown on civilian,
unarmed, and legitimate activists and organizations expose the sham
that is President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 which supposedly
aims to end local armed conflict in the country, but is a mere
cover-up for the administration’s more vicious attempts at
establishing a tyrannical rule. This is further exemplified by the
exposed connivance between the state’s machinery for war, the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police
(PNP) – particularly the NCRPO – and a member of the judiciary, the
Quezon City RTC Executive Judge Cecilyn E. Burgos-Villavert. Such
proves that Philippine democracy is under attack.
We, as teacher-unionists,
are not spared from these state attacks. Two teachers have been
gunned down, 2 more were attempted to be killed, and one ACT
coordinator is jailed on a trumped-up charge in a period of less
than a month. Offices and homes of teachers’ organizations as well
as leaders who are vocal in advancing their rights and welfare face
the threat of raids, harassments, and other rights violations.
Mouthpieces of the state mock legal and legitimate teachers as
'teacher-actors' while they hurl us with red tags and despicable
lies that only aim to smear the teaching profession and our rightful
unionism. These have persisted since the state launched the illegal
nationwide profiling against ACT late last year, upon the signing of
EO 70 or the whole-of-nation approach on counterinsurgency.
As educators, it is our
duty to uphold democracy and defend people’s rights and freedoms. We
teach our students to practice critical thinking for the pursuit of
social justice. Our fight for livable wages, better working
conditions, and better social services is an exercise of all that we
espouse in class. It is therefore imperative that we continue to
stand our ground and assert our rights. We shall continue to build
unities within our ranks and forge solidarities with other sectors
as we jointly register our strong resistance and defiance of the
increasingly fascist Duterte regime.
We likewise call on all
freedom- and democracy-loving members of the local and international
community to join us in this fight. An attack on one of us is an
attack on all of us. We must stand together and fight back against
oppressive and tyrannical regimes. Stop state terrorism!