Banning teachers who are members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) from serving this May polls is “discrimination to the teachers who are willing to serve.”
ACT Davao City President Reynaldo Pardillo assailed the move of party-list group Tao Muna to block ACT members from serving in the elections.
“There’s no such kind of law that will prohibit any teacher in the public school whether (or not) she/he is a member of ACT union. It is a sort of discrimination to the part of the teachers who are willing to serve in the history of Philippine Election,” Pardillo told TIMES.
On Monday, Tao Muna Secretary General Mohammad Fajardo submitted a petition to the Commission on Elections to disallow members of ACT to serve as Board of Election Inspectors in the May 13 elections.
Fajardo, in his letter, said ACT teachers might influence the voters that would result an advantage in favor to their own party-list and disadvantage to other party-lists as well as to the running candidates whose campaign platforms contradict ACT advocacies.
“No such records that teachers were involved in the election cheating. Wala sa among hanay ang manikas og magbinuang sa election (Our ranks do not cheat or sabotage the election),” Pardillo said.
According to Pardillo, the schedule of elections is supposedly a vacation time for teachers, but they, as “the prime movers in mobilizing the Philippines election,” will willingly do their part as members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs).
“We urged the Comelec to please don’t allow this petition to be approved since there is no legal and substantial reasons why the ACT teachers should not serve in the election. Do not label us. Our mission is to protect, to serve a clean and honest election, this is our clamor,” Pardillo added.
ACT started in 1982 as a progressive, militant, and nationalist organization of teachers, academic non-teaching personnel and non-academic non-teaching personnel in the country.
In 2008, ACT members and affiliates formed ACT Teachers Partylist for the 2010 congressional partylist elections. They won a seat in both 2010 and 2013 elections. In 2016, they won two seats.
ACT Teachers Party-list is part of the Makabayan Bloc in the Congress.
Antonio Tinio, ACT national chair, represented the party-list since 2010. In 2016, Frances Castro was added.
Castro is the congresswoman who was implicated by the military and police authorities to have allegedly abducted school children in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
Aside from ACT Teachers, at least two other teachers part-lists are seeking congressional seat in this year’s elections.
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