The Department of Education (DepEd) XI challenged the Alliance of Concerned Teachers to clarify its connection with the ACT Party-list following the group’s association that its members have been banned from serving as the Board of Election Inspectors in the upcoming mid-term polls.
Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press briefing held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Jenielito Atillo, the DepEd XI spokesperson, belied the allegation.
“Reading closely ACT’s statement we see its internal inconsistencies and the resulting disinformation and malicious imputations,” Atillo said, reading the DepEd central office’s statement.
Meanwhile, a statement from ACT-Davao Region claimed that the union is different from the party-list.
Before condemning, he said the ACT should come forward with specific and validated incidents when alleged DepEd local officials prohibited its members from serving in the elections.
Atillo also said that the Alliance of Concerned Teachers should clarify whether or not its members are also members or connected with the ACT Teachers Party-list.
For instance, current ACT Teachers Party-list second nominee Benjamin Valbuena used to serve as national chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers.
This distinction is relevant in the matter of membership in the electoral boards. If teachers are members of the ACT Teachers Party-list, then the disqualification under Article IX-C Section 8 of the Constitution may apply.
The said provision states that “political parties, or organizations or coalitions registered under the party-list system, shall not be represented in the voter’s registration boards, boards of election inspectors, boards of canvassers, or other similar bodies. However, they shall be entitled to appoint poll watchers in accordance with the law.”
“We emphasize that it is the Commission on Elections (Comelec), through the Election Officers, which shall constitute and appoint the electoral boards. Thus, the clarification on this matter is best addressed by ACT to Comelec,” he said.
Elenito Escalante, ACT-Davao president, said that both representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro, are just carrying the voice of teachers and they “prospered in authoring or co-sponsoring distinctive laws for the benefit of the teachers.”
“Such efforts should be recognized for their service rather than doing such unjustifiable discrimination and red-tagging,” he said in a statement posted on the union’s Facebook page.