DepEd urged to de­fend ACT mem­bers amid PNP pro­fil­ing

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By JANVIC MA­TEO

The Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights (CHR) on Fri­day urged the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (DepEd) to speak up in de­fense of the Al­liance of Con­cerned Teach­ers (ACT) af­ter the pro­fil­ing con­ducted by the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) on its mem­bers.

CHR spokesper­son Jacque­line de Guia wel­comed the state­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Leonor Bri­ones that she will is­sue a di­rec­tive re­mind­ing lo­cal DepEd and school of­fi­cials to com­ply with pro­vi­sions of the Data Pri­vacy Act.

De Guia, how­ever, said the red tag­ging of ACT and its mem­bers calls for con­demna- tion from DepEd to re­as­sure and show sup­port to the teach­ers.

“The dig­nity and safety of teach­ers must be given ut­most pri­or­ity given their vi­tal con­tri­bu­tion in ed­u­cat­ing and hon­ing the youth. Any vi­o­la­tion against teach­ers di­min­ishes their dig­nity and un­der­mines their no­ble pro­fes­sion,” De Guia said.

“We urge the DepEd to un­equiv­o­cally speak up in de­fense of ACT and to pro­vide them with suf­fi­cient pro­tec­tion and sup­port, es­pe­cially to those whose per­sonal in­for­ma­tion have been re­leased,” she added.

The DepEd did not cat­e­gor­i­cally con­demn the pro­fil­ing by the PNP of ACT mem­bers, with of­fi­cials say­ing it is not within their man­date to ques­tion the ac­tions of an­other agency in the per­for­mance of its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Dur­ing a meet­ing with In­te­rior Sec­re­tary Ed­uardo Año, Bri­ones said she re­layed their po­si­tion that re­quests for in­for­ma­tion should be eval­u­ated by the cen­tral of­fice on a case-to-case ba­sis.

The PNP drew flak af­ter con­fi­den­tial memos di­rect­ing the pro­fil­ing of mem­bers of the ACT, which it ac­cused of hav­ing ties to the Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines.

Re­ports said po­lice of­fi­cials have been vis­it­ing schools to re­quest for the list of ACT mem­bers.

Bri­ones said she will is­sue a re­minder to school of­fi­cials to re­fer to the cen­tral of­fice any re­quest for in­for­ma­tion cov­ered by the Data Pri­vacy Act.

Ed­u­ca­tion Un­der­sec­re­tary Ne­po­mu­ceno Malaluan said the law nei­ther ab­so­lutely pro­hibits nor al­lows data or in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, hence the need for eval­u­a­tion.


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