Groups reiterate call on SC for TRO on ATL in light of DILG memo

Published March 29, 2021, 8:39 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Teachers along with other government employees reiterated their call upon the high court to urgently issue a status quo ante order and/or a temporary restraining order on the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL).

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines and the Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) filed a joint manifestation to the Supreme Court on Monday, March 29, in light of the recently exposed Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG) memorandum which declared both organizations as “Communist Terrorist Groups front organizations.”


In filing the joint manifestation, the petitioners argued that the DILG memo can “trigger grievous consequences to the concerned persons and organizations’ rights and liberties” under the ATL.


“There have been a marked increase in rights violations in the country over the last few months—teachers, government employees, lawyers, all of whom are merely practicing their profession but have not been spared from the Duterte government’s vicious war on dissent,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.

Basilio alleged that members of both groups “have been facing harassment, arrests on trumped up charges, and murder” – among others. “And we fear that these will only intensify, unless concrete steps are taken to frustrate the systematic attacks on the people’s rights and freedoms,” he added.


As such, ACT and COURAGE called on the SC to “urgently halt the implementation of the ATL” – if only temporarily to give us some relief as deliberations on its constitutionality are still underway. 

The manifestation filed before the SC, Basilio said, is a “step to seek justice and accountability” for the human and trade union rights violations allegedly committed against the groups.

“It is, however, only the beginning of a series of measures that ACT plans to take in defense of teachers’ rights and liberties,” Basilio said.

The groups also declared their intent to seek remedies and support from other government agencies and international bodies, to “once and for all put an end to the repressive and fascist attacks against their rank.”