Alliance of Concerned Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro vehemently condemned the fabricated cases filed against leaders of different rights organizations including the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Union and ACT Union Region 10 President Ophelia Tabacon.
In an emailed statement, Tinio blamed the Duterte administration for the continuing harrasment against school teachers, human rights advocates, church workers, and union workers.
“The state has been tagging organizations and individuals non-stop as terrorists and continues to dismiss their legitimate calls for salary increase, an end to martial law in Mindanao, genuine land reform and just and lasting peace for our country,” Tinio said. “These fabricated cases filed against union leaders and rights advocates is yet another case of harassment against the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Union and ACT Region 10 Union President Ophelia Tabacon. The terrorist tagging and criminalization of our teachers and Union leaders endangers the already perilous lives of human rights defenders and union workers.”
“We vehemently condemn yet another attack against the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Union Region 10 President Ophelia Tabacon,” Castro said. “This fabricated case and terrorist tagging of our union leader is an attack on union rights. Our teachers and union leaders have been calling on the government for salary increase and fighting for the rights and welfare of their fellow educators and students, yet the government repays them with terrorist tagging and continued harassment.”
“Members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) have been targets of government profiling, terrorist tagging and harassment. This fabricated case filed against Ophelia Tabacon is again an endangerment of our coordinator and the teachers she serves,” Tinio added. “Ma’am Ophel is a teacher and a union leader struggling for the rights and welfare of her fellow educators, she is not a criminal and terrorist. We demand an end to the continued harassment of our teacher-leaders.”
“Members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) have been targets of government profiling, terrorist tagging and harassment. The terrorist tagging of Ophelia Tabacon is again an endangerment of our coordinator and the teachers she serves,” Castro added.
“Under the Duterte administration, those who try to help other people and rescue communities that are harassed by the military, paramilitary and the police are tagged as kidnappers and child abusers, legal and humanitarian acts are considered criminal acts. Those who oppose the anti-people policies of the Duterte administration are tagged as terrorists.”
“We demand the immediate dismissal of the fabricated cases filed against Alliance of Concerned Teachers Union and ACT Union Region 10 President Ophelia Tabacon and leaders of different rights organizations. We assert our call for the urgent lifting of the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. Harassment and profiling of activists must immediately end,” Tinio’s statement reads in part.