The Court of Appeals has dismissed the petition of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers seeking to stop the Philippine National Police from profiling their public and private school teacher members.
In a four-page resolution, the CA’s 11th Division junked outright the petition filed last month by ACT through national chairperson Joselyn Martirez and secretary-general Raymond Basilio on technicality.
The appellate court cited infirmities in the petition as ground for rejecting the petition, particularly the failure of petitioners to submit certified true copies of the assailed memoranda issued by the PNP’s intelligence units.
It held that the petition failed to meet the requirement under Rule 65, Section 2 in relation to Rule 46, Section 3 of the Rules of Court.
Both rules require that “the petition shall likewise be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto.”
The appellate court also cited the failure of ACT to state material dates in their petition, specifically the dates when the petitioners received the various assailed PNP Memoranda.
It ruled that the petition likewise did not include the “current date of issuance of the IBP Membership Number of the petitioners’ counsel” and “the current date of issuance of the Professional Tax Number (“PTR”) of the petitioners’ counsel” in violation to Bar Matter Number 287 dated 26 September 2000 and Bar Matter Number 1132 dated 12 November 2002, respectively.
Due to these technical reasons, the appellate court dismissed the petition without even asking the respondents led by PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to answer and submit their comments.
Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela penned the ruling with Associate Justices Ricardo Rosario and Perpetua Atal-Pano concurring.
In their petition, the ACT officers and members sought issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order stopping the implementation of the memoranda issued by the PNP ordering its members to conduct an inventory of all teachers who belong to ACT.
They asked the CA to strike down the assailed memoranda issued by the PNP’s intelligence units last month as unconstitutional.
In a nutshell, ACT alleged that the PNP’s action violated their constitutional right to association, right to assembly and to petition the government for redress of grievances, right to privacy, freedom of expression and right to protection to labor.
The petitioners said the assailed order violates their rights under Article III, Section 8 in relation to Article III, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution.
The teachers’ group argued that the PNP’s action against them cannot be justified because they are not involved in any criminal activity.
The group also said that it has in fact a party-list group that participated in the last three elections and “has sponsored a number of House measures espousing the right to an education that inculcates love of country, develops scientific thinking and is responsive to the cause of the marginalized and underrepresented majority of the people.”
ACT also believed that the profiling of their members is a “politically motivated act” that “will force or dissuade both current and prospective members of the latter to withdraw membership or join for fear of breaches not only of right to be let alone in their political beliefs, but also of their very right to live.”
It told the CA that there has already been a “chilling effect” of the police profiling to their members.
Lastly, ACT claimed that the PNP order violates Republic Act 10173 (Data Privacy Act), which safeguards right to privacy of every individual.