Harassed? It’s probably me, not you — Briones

Published April 19, 2021, 10:17 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Education Secretary Briones said that she has been on the receiving end of “harassment” for quite some time now – with blows coming from various groups supposedly representing learners and teachers.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones

“I don’t know if I should say this [but] I am the one who feels harassed because I’m told to go to hell, I’m told that I am a whore, and I’m told that some groups are continually praying that I will rot in hell,” Briones said during the press briefing of Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Monday, April 19.

Briones said this in response to the concerns raised by some quarters that the recent profiling directive of the DepEd might pave the way for the harassment of teachers and other employees of the agency.

“So if that is not harassment, [what is it?] — the trouble is we are not sure to whom they are praying to [because] many of course do not believe in religion and they keep on praying that something will happen to me,” Briones, 80, added.

Meanwhile, Briones assured that DepEd is just following the standard procedures for groups that deal with government organizations.

“We don’t harass. Everything, any action that we have undertaken is always covered by law, because that is my training,” Briones said. “We are a government of laws [so] organizations which deal with the DepEd of course have to comply with the requirements,” she added.

Briones noted that in DepEd, there are more than 11 big organizations of teaching and non-teaching staff that submit the names and the list of their officers. 

“It is standard, we don’t discriminate and we recognize that these two organizations which have made their observations are legitimate organizations,” Briones said.

“They are not underground organizations; they are not like Katipunan organizations and so they are open organizations and they submit the names of their members like everybody else,” she ended.