A federation of teachers claimed looming attacks against them following the arrest of peasant organizer Amanda Echanis last Wednesday in Cagayan and red-tagging by a witness who accused the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines’ of having links with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army in a Senate hearing last Tuesday.
ACT said they will hold the Duterte government responsible should any teacher-activists be harmed due to State forces’ relentless and unsubstantiated vilification and harassment of Leftist groups and individuals.
ACT added the arrest of Echanis who was with her infant son clearly demonstrates how red-tagging is used by State forces to justify attacks against activists and any and all critics of the regime.
ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said the witness conjured up baseless and incredulous stories on ACT’s supposed process of recruitment and support to the armed group, hence, the “imminence of dangers to our leaders and members.”
“When the people are harassed, attacked, even killed by State forces for nothing else but the rightful exercise and defense of rights and liberties, the true terrorists are bared as no other than our very government,” Basilio said.
ACT also expressed concern that more repressive measures will be taken against dissenters, especially as the Senate has recently been serving as a venue for the NTF-ELCAC to red-tag leftist individuals, organizations, even lawmakers.