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MANILA, Philippines – Following fierce backlash, the Department of Education (DepEd) has ordered its Manila school division to recall a memo it issued to school heads that echoed police orders to identify teachers aligned with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Friday, January 4
In a statement Monday, January 7, the DepEd said “in consultation with the concerned Regional Office, the recall of this forwarding letter has been directed.”
The DepEd said it was concerned over reports of two supposed school division offices (SDO) that supported the moves of the police to profile teachers. (Police’s intel list of ACT teachers ‘violates right to privacy’)
It was referring to a Manila Police District intelligence memorandum ordering cops to “conduct an inventory” of all educators who are ACT members. The same memorandum was also used for a DepEd Manila order where schools heads were notified of the police’s order for “appropriate action.”
“Based on available information, it is noted that the DepEd Central Office has not received any such request from the PNP. It is confirmed though that a letter addressed to school heads was issued by one SDO through an Acting Division Superintendent, forwarding a purported Memorandum from a PNP [Philippine National Police] unit,” the DepEd said.
Apart from the memo issued by the Manila SDO, DepEd said no other similar letter was issued by its other local units.
Should other government agencies request for personal information of teachers, the DepEd said these would be reviewed based on existing regulations and laws, including the Data Privacy Act.
PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde sacked cops involved in what he said was a “leaked” internal memo.
Said Albayalde, the memorandum may have been issued to monitor ACT.
Despite this, the top cop said the PNP’s actions were legal and should not be taken as a threat to teachers’ freedom to organize. (READ: Teachers to PNP, DepEd: We’re not terrorists)
DepEd earlier said it would seek dialogue with the Department of Interior and Local Government on the matter within the week. – Rappler.com