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ACT files ILO complaint over Sara’s ‘red-tagging’ remarks

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said Thursday it has filed a complaint to the International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding the supposed red-tagging statements made by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte against them.

ACT said ILO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa already received the complaint pertaining to Duterte's remarks against ACT over several issues.

GMA News Online has sought the comments of Vice President Duterte, her spokesperson Reynold Munsayac, and DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa but they have yet to respond as of posting time.

The complaint stems from Duterte's previous comments including calling ACT a “lover of the useless ideologies espoused by the New People’s Army (NPA), the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)” after the teachers’ union supported a transport strike back in March. 

In the same month, Duterte also slammed ACT’s proposal for the Department of Education (DepEd) to hire 30,000 teachers yearly until 2028 in order to address the shortage of teachers in the country and called out the group for making the appeal at the height of rebel attacks in Masbate.

ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said the Vice President’s statements against them show that the Philippine government “is not upholding the recommendations made by the High-Level Tripartite Mission of the International Labor Organization (ILO-HLTM) when the body investigated the cases of violations against freedom of association last January 23 to 26, 2023.”

“Red-tagging our legal and legitimate unions is a violation of the freedom of association and poses grave dangers to the life of our organization and leaders as records show that rampant red-tagging preceded all harassments, intimidation, illegal arrest and detention, and extra-judicial killings perpetrated against unionist in recent years,” Basilio argued.

“There is no other way to protect our right to free association but to push back and make accountable those who dare trample on it. We cannot give up our unions as it is our only recourse to assert our economic and political rights, especially in this time of grave economic crisis and state repression,” he added.

Basilio also said ACT is set to raise its concerns with other concerned bodies in the days to come. —VAL, GMA Integrated News