Teacher Group Files “Red-Tagging” Complaint Against DepEd

Teacher Group Files Complaint Against DepEd Over Red-Tagging Statement

Teacher group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) files a complaint against the Department of Education (DepEd) over red-tagging statements.

According to ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio, they allegedly filed a complaint with the International Labor Organization (ILO) against the DepEd. This is due to the department’s purported increased “red-tagging statements” against the group.

According to Basilio, the increased red-tagging statements by DepEd and Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte against the teachers’ union show that the government is not following the recommendations of the International Labor Organization’s High-Level Tripartite Mission (ILO-HLTM) when the representative investigated cases of violation of freedom of association in January.

DepEd Teacher Red-Tagging

In its lawsuit, the ACT stated that it received DepEd statements signed by Duterte regarding the red-tagging of the ACT on March 4 and 6, when a transport strike by groups of drivers and jeep operators was declared. Furthermore, the teachers’ group allegedly shared DepEd’s statement on March 27, 29, 30, and 31, in which it linked the Masbate armed conflict to ACT’s appeal for 30,000 teachers.

“It included the joint press conference of the DepEd and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on April 4, 2023, solely dedicated to incriminate ACT and its leaders to armed revolution,” ACT said.

“Red-tagging our legal and legitimate unions is a violation of the freedom of association and poses grave dangers to the life of our organization and leaders as records show that rampant red-tagging preceded all harassments, intimidation, illegal arrest and detention, and extra -judicial killings perpetrated against unionists in recent years,” said Basilio.

He further claimed that, despite the government’s emphasis on a red-tagging program, the continuous reference by government agencies to the purported links of employees and unions to the Communist Party of the Philippines is plainly distorting this, based on the article of CNN.

“It was well-expressed in the ILO-HLTM report that the practice of red-tagging should stop and any suspicion of criminal acts should be brought before appropriate judicial bodies with assurances of due process and respect for the presumption of innocence,” said Basilio.

“There is no other way to protect our right to free association but to push back and make accountable those who dare trample on it. We cannot give up our unions as it is our only recourse to assert our economic and political rights, especially in this time of grave economic crisis and state repression. We are set to bring our case to other responsible bodies in the coming days,” he said.

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