/ 16 June 2021

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers slammed the Department of Education for hosting another conference with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict on the government’s “sham” peace and development program.

The group said the event was held June 14.

“What does DepEd stand to gain from allowing the NTF-ELCAC to further take root in our agency? Such moves run counter to DepEd’s mandate to uphold and protect basic rights and freedoms, as the task force serves as the tyrannical Duterte government’s strong arm for repression,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

It said that the Regional Conference for Peace and Development was held based on a memorandum issued by DEPED Undersecretary Alain Pascua, who also chairs the NTF-ELCAC’s Special Task Group to Counter CTGs’ Exploitation of the Education System.

ACT said that such events were part of DEPED’s sustained efforts to “institutionalize in the agency the NTF-ELCAC and its violent and dirty war against the people.”

“To use DepEd’s extremely limited resources for such at the height of one of the gravest learning crises in our recent history is criminal,” Basilio said.

The group added that DepEd has been holding various activities coorganized with the NTF-ELCAC where ACT and other organizations were red-tagged.

It cited the event in Caraga where over 600 public school teachers were made to pledge their loyalty to the government by denouncing and withdrawing their membership from ACT.

“DepEd evidently has a lot on its plate as distance learning problems continue to mount, with consequences as grave as denying millions of poor children their right to accessible quality education. It is therefore imperative that all efforts and resources of the agency be poured into addressing these pressing concerns, and not a single centavo nor a minute of their and their personnel’s time should be wasted in the regime’s war program. This is both their constitutional and moral duty,” Basilio said.