MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde sacked intelligence officers who allegedly "leaked" the intelligence memorandum calling for the inventory of educators who are part of a leftist group.
Speaking at a Camp Crame press briefing on Monday, January 7, Albayalde said the leakage of the memorandum has caused unwanted "panic" and "concern" from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).
"As far as I am concerned, wala akong pinirmahan na ganyan and 'yung nag-leak 'yan sinabi ng mga different regional directors kung sino'ng nag-leak niyan (I did not sign anything like that. The ones who leaked that have been named by regional directors)," Albayalde said.
"I already ordered for the intel officers involved to be relieved," the top cop added.
Albayalde said the relief order covers 3 intelligence officers – one each in Manila, Quezon City, and Zambales.
For surveillance? According to Albayalde, the memorandum may have been issued to monitor ACT.
"Kaya siguro they're profiling kung saan talaga affiliated. Remember, there are pronouncements kasi coming from CPP-NDF na ito ang mga front organization nila," he said.
(Maybe the profiling is to see where they are affiliated. Remember, there are pronouncements from the CPP-NDF that these are their front organizations.)
The top cop was referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its political arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF).
While ACT is a leftist organization, the PNP has yet to establish links between the teachers' group with the CPP-NDF in organizing what they fear to be an "armed rebellion." (READ: ACT members being monitored due to 'Left connection' – Malacañang)
Call for calm: On the legitimacy of the memorandum, Albayalde said listing the names of teachers who belong to ACT is legal and should not be taken as a threat to their freedom to organize.
He added that the teachers have nothing to worry about if they have nothing to hide. (READ: Teachers to PNP, DepEd: We're not terrorists)
"We understand their feeling. Anyone who is profiled by cops always has that feeling [of fear]. But if they're not doing anything wrong, they have nothing to worry about," Albayalde said in a mix of English and Filipino.
"This is part of our security preparations. These are all part of our security protocols. These are all part of our maintenance of peace and order in this country," he added. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.