DepEd urged to defend ACT members amid PNP profiling
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.