Teachers slam ‘dictator-wannabe’ Duterte on 49th Martial Law anniversary

Published September 21, 2021, 8:48 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

A group of teachers and education workers called on the public, especially the youth, to open their eyes to the “tyranny” of President Duterte as the country commemorates the 49th year since then President Ferdinand E. Marcos put the country under martial law.

President Duterte / Malacañang photo

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines, in a statement issued Tuesday, Sept. 21, alleged that the “tyranny” of Duterte, whom they called a “dictator-wannabe,” has targeted the education sector in various instances.

ACT said that Duterte has launched a “vicious all-out war against the people” – from attempting to stifle academic freedom, red-tagging teachers, education workers’ unions, and education institutions, to downright closing down independent and alternative Lumad schools.

“Even his pandemic response was characterized by fascism through the imposition of militaristic lockdowns sans medical and socio-economic responses to the crises,” ACT said.

“All of which to ensure the unhampered looting of the people’s coffers by government officials and their cronies,” the group said. “As such, little was left for the provision of social and economic services and resulted in the rapid decline in the people’s quality of living,” it added.

Learn from history

Through teaching and resistance, teachers under ACT also renewed their commitment to fight the bid to “rewrite history.”

“As educators, we have the power and obligation to ensure that present and future generations know of the atrocities committed by the Marcos family and their cronies against the Filipino people as proven in various courts and in the lives lost and ruined in their 14-year reign,” ACT said.

“We, together with the youth and the rest of the people, take inspiration from the successful struggle to overthrow the dictator in 1989 as another one rises in our midst,” the group added.