DepEd violates own memo on nCoV for Duterte’s wars – ACT

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The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines on Wednesday slammed the Department of Education (DepEd) for  “breaking  its own order in the name of the Duterte administration’s ‘sham drug war and counterinsurgency.”

The group revealed that the Philippine National Police (PNP) held an anti-drug culmination activity for nearly a thousand Grade 9 students, with DepEd’s Usec. Tonisito Umali as guest of honor and speaker, in Ramon Magsaysay High School, Quezon City on Monday, February 10—six days after DepEd’s task force nCoV (novel coronavirus) released memorandum 015, s.2020 which included an order to suspend all school congregations to lessen the risk of further outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

“How was the PNP activity permitted with no less than a DepEd top official as its guest and speaker, when even flag ceremonies have been banned? Is this sham and violent drug war more important than the health of our students?” ACT National Chairperson Joselyn Martinez asked.

Martinez lambasted the education agency for exposing students to health risks just so they can listen to vicious lies being spread by the PNP.

Meanwhile, ACT noted that their activities which do not even involve students have been suspended since the issuance of the memorandum, including a Fil-Am War forum for Araling Panlipunan teachers, ACT NCR Union’s regional council meeting, and a dialogue between ACT NCR Union and DepEd NCR’s Regional Director.

“The selective application of the memorandum makes it seem as though the order is being used as a weapon to forward Duterte’s rabid repression campaign,” alleged Martinez.

The group demanded that DepEd explain its implementation of the said memorandum as well as its permission of the PNP’s anti-drug campaign activity.

“Duterte’s drug war has killed thousands of poor Filipinos who were not given any chance at due process. This is not the kind of skewed justice we want our students to learn. We don’t want the youth to learn to condone fascism in any way, hence we condemn DepEd’s flagrant support to such campaign,” said Martinez.

ACT furthered that this activity is part of the Duterte administration’s Kabataan Kontra-Droga at Terorismo (KKDT) campaign, launched last year and has since gone around schools to conduct various seminars and fora. The teachers’ group alleged that KKDT has served as a venue for the PNP and the military to propagandize against legitimate organizations whom the government tags as terrorists.

“Schools shall remain as safe zones and therefore police and military presence must be forbidden, especially as they espouse undemocratic principles and practices and with their track record of human rights violations and attacks against dissenters. Allowing their presence in our schools is an affront against a civilian institution that aims to inculcate critical thinking, social justice, democracy, among others, to the youth,” said Martinez.

ACT called on DepEd to refuse to be utilized by the PNP and the military to spread lies to students for the government’s fascist agenda.  The group furthered that it seems the government’s paranoia over drugs and insurgency  trumps its concern over a life-threatening disease that merited a global emergency declaration.

The group called for the banning of any KKDT activity with or without the threat of the nCoV outbreak./Stacy Ang

 

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