NCRPO: We won't use ACT teachers list illegally

MANILA, Philippines – Listing teachers part of a progressive and militant group is perfectly legal, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Guillermo Eleazar said on Monday, January 7.

"Repository kami (PNP) ng information. For our future reference, lalo na sa mga bagay na pwedeng magka-koneksyon sa ating programa (We are a repository of information. It is for our future reference, especially for use in possibly connected police programs)," Eleazar told Rappler in a phone interview.

Eleazar said the list would remain internal — just like the memorandum which was leaked.

What list?  Eleazar was referring to a Manila Police District (MPD) intel memorandum which has ordered cops to "conduct an inventory" of all educators who are members of the group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).

The same memorandum has apparently been used for a Department of Education - Manila order of the same call for inventory.

The MPD memorandum listed as its reference—the orders and events that prompted it in the first place— to be a memo from the Regional Intelligence Division of the NCRPO, and in time for "mid-terms election 2019."

'No harassment:' Eleazar rejected the accusation of ACT Teachers that the memorandum, which effectively profiles their members, would be used to harass and curtail their right to organization and free expression.

"Rest assured, the NCRPO is evidence-based. Kung walang problema, walang dapat ikatakot. Wala kaming gagawin na ilegal (If there is no problem, there is no need to fear. We are not going to do anything illegal),"Eleazar said.

Eleazar said he could not readily explain why the memorandum was prompted by the elections, as the order to issue it did not come from him.

Aside from Eleazar, the only office that could have ordered the regional intelligence division to conduct the listing is the Camp Crame-based Directorate for Intelligence, raising the possibility of a call for a nationwide inventory of ACT members. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.