ACT Teachers solon condemns attacks against teachers on the eve of the celebration of World Teachers’ Day

Published October 7, 2019, 7:07 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

ACT Teachers partylist Rep. France Castro accused Monday state agents of continuously hurling attacks against teachers and union leaders even on the eve of the celebration of World Teachers’ Day.

ACT-Teachers Party-List Rep. France Castro (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
ACT-Teachers Party-List Rep. France Castro

She condemned the threats and harassment committed against public school teachers and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Region V President Oliver Barlizo Lucenario.

“This was not the first time Mr. Lucenario received a package from an unidentified man that intends to threaten him and his safety,” Castro noted.

According to her, an envelope containing the ACT official’s personal details, his photos and his family, and a copy of Executive Order 70, which created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, was delivered to Lucenario.

Lucenario was also instructed to call a certain mobile number in his school in Magallanes National High School in Magallanes, Sorsogon, Castro said.

“We vehemently condemn the continuing attacks against teachers and union leaders, especially on World Teachers’ Day. Instead of hearing the calls of public school teachers for a substantial salary increase, better working conditions, and just benefits, the state gifts them with threats and harassment,” Castro said in a statement.

She said the harassment was made when the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Region V Union are about to conclude their negotiation for the first Collective Negotiating Agreement for better benefits and working conditions of public school teachers in the Bicol Region.

Lucenario serves as the president of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers for the Bicol Region.

“Threats made against him are attacks on union rights and the teachers he serves. These threats and harassment against union leaders are steps to sabotage the Union of teachers and their positive moves with the Department of Education by using fear. They will not succeed especially when our teachers are simply exercising their rights,” Castro said.

“Our teachers and union leaders have been calling on the government for salary increase and fighting for the rights and welfare of their fellow educators and students, yet the government repays them with terrorist tagging and continued harassment,” she said.

She laments that members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) have been targets of government profiling, terrorist tagging and harassment.

“Under the Duterte administration, those who try to help other people and rescue communities that are harassed by the military, paramilitary and the police are tagged as kidnappers and child abusers, legal and humanitarian acts are considered criminal acts. Those who oppose the anti-people policies of the Duterte administration are tagged as terrorists,” Castro said.