/ 30 March 2021

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers Philippines and the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees filed a joint manifestation before the Supreme Court on Monday in connection with the terror-tagging of the two groups by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The groups said that the move “trigger(s) grievous consequences to the concerned persons and organizations’ rights and liberties” under the Anti-Terrorism Law.

ACT and COURAGE asked the high court to urgently issue a status quo ante order and/or a temporary restraining order on the assailed law.

“There have been a marked increase in rights violations in the country over the last few months — teachers, government employees, lawyers, all of whom are merely practicing their profession but have not been spared from the Duterte government’s vicious war on dissent. We have been facing harassment, arrests on trumped up charges, and murder from state forces,” they said.

“We fear that these will only intensify, unless concrete steps are taken to frustrate the systematic attacks on the people’s rights and freedoms. As such, we respectfully call on the Supreme Court to urgently halt the implementation of the ATL, if only temporarily to give us some relief as deliberations on its constitutionality are still underway,” Raymond Basilio, ACT secretary general, said in a statement.

He cited the unjust arrest of Butuan City Assistant Principal and ACT Caraga union secretary Lai Consad as proof that allowing state-perpetrated red-tagging will only lead to worse attacks on the people’s rights to life, liberty, and security.

On Sunday, another red-tagged unionist of Pamantik-KMU was gunned down in Laguna.