CA junks petition vs PNP profiling of ACT members

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed the petition to stop the Philippine National Police (PNP) from profiling members and affiliates of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in public schools.

Citing "infirmities," the CA’s 11th Division junked the petition that ACT, two of its regional groups, and the Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) filed on January 17. The resolution is dated February 4 but released on Thursday, February 7.

In 4-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela, the court said the petitioners failed to submit certified true copies of the PNP's order to compile an intelligence list of ACT teachers and affiliates in public schools.

The Rules of Court require a petition to be “accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto.”

The court also noted that  ACT, through national chairperson Joselyn Martirez and Secretary General Raymond Basilio, did not  provide the dates when the petitioners received the PNP memoranda in question.

The petition also did not include the “current date of issuance of the IBP Membership Number of the petitioners' counsel” and “the current date of issuance of the Professional Tax Number (“PTR”) of the petitioners' counsel.” 

Associate Justices Ricardo Rosario and Perpetua Atal-Pano concurred with the decision.

The respondents in the petition included PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, PNP Intelligence Division chief Gregorio Pimentel, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, PNP-National Capital Region Police Office chief Director-General Guillermo Eleazar and 12 other police officials in various regional officers of the PNP.

The group said it filed the petition after receiving reports of profiling of its members by the PNP of its members from Negros, Baguio, Cebu, Davao late last year.

The police memorandum was affirmed to an extent by a subsequent memorandum by the Department of Education notifying school heads of the police order “for appropriate action.” The DepEd had revoked its memorandum.

The petitioners alleged that the intel list being compiled by the police violates their rights under the Data Privacy Act, the Magna Cara for Public School Teachers, Administration Code of 1987, and the 1987 Constitution, which all guarantee rights to freedom of expression and rights to organize.

They said that there is no legal basis for the PNP's profiling of ACT members since their militant orientation and affinity with progressive groups are not  illegal acts. – Rappler.com