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[ 30 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio on the proposed national ID system ]

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio on the proposed national ID system:

The proposed national ID system, currently being deliberated in Congress as one of the priority measures of the Duterte administration, will move the Philippines one step closer to becoming a police state.

House Bill 6221 mandates the establishment of a Filipino Identification System (to be known as FilSys) and requires all Filipino citizens to provide personal information to the government in exchange for the so-called Filipino ID Card.

Proponents of FilSys in Malacañang and Congress claim that the national ID system is intended mainly to facilitate public and private transactions and the delivery of public services.

What they fail to mention is that the proposed legislation empowers the government to collect and retain from each and every Filipino citizen their personal information of unprecedented scope and intrusiveness. The information includes, not just the basic personal data (name, birthdate, address, etc.), but also “sensitive personal information,” including biometrics, “race or ethnic origin, marital status, age, color [sic], and religious, philosophical or political affiliations;” “current health, education and genetic records;” and “record of any proceeding on any offense committed or alleged to have been committed.”

This proposed legislation will grossly undermine the right to privacy, (defined as “the right to be left alone”), and give the government a powerful tool of surveillance, control, and repression over all citizens.

Given the deteriorating human rights situation under the Duterte administration, the proliferation of extrajudicial killings, martial law in Mindanao, and total war in the countryside, we will vigorously oppose the passage of the national ID bill and urge the public to do the same. #



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[ 29 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Duterte’s accusations against Taguiwalo baseless, malicious -solons ]


29 August 2017


ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio and France Castro scored President Duterte who recently said that bulk of the money from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps was given to the New People’s Army (NPA).


“President Duterte is only covering up his own refusal to stand by Judy in the Commission on Appointments, the reforms she started in the DSWD, and her progressive stance against pork, patronage, and anti-poor new taxes.  At the same time, he is spreading lies and malicious accusations against one who, up to her rejection by the CA, had been one of the few rays of hope that the poor and marginalized had in his cabinet,” said Tinio. “This refusal shows his insincerity in ridding the country of corruption and poverty.  He will eventually fail to deliver his promises of change.”


“We challenge him to substantiate with hard evidence his claims that the DSWD under former Secretary Taguiwalo gave Pantawid funds for the NPA,” added Castro.  “We also demand that he retract these insinuations immediately.”


The solons noted that Duterte, as President and long-time local government official, should know that funds for 4Ps are directly coursed through the Landbank and its conduits which directly pay the Pantawid beneficiaries themselves. These transactions are recorded and COA regularly audits this program.


“This is also an effort to demonize the progressive people’s movement where Judy comes from and fully dedicates her work to.  Sadly, the President’s line echoes the military’s line which maliciously tags progressives as rebel supporters or NPAs themselves,” ended the solons.  “This is dangerous as it fuels the targeting by the fascist military and state agents of activists who raise and struggle for the legitimate issues of the people as so-called ‘enemies of the state’.” ##


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[ 23 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Rep. Castro on the DepEd’s mandatory drug testing of central and regional office employees and on a survey questionnaire of a private organization being distributed in public schools via DepEd ]

Interpellation of ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro on the 2018 DepEd budget
22 August 2017

On DepEd’s mandatory drug testing of central and regional office employees

— Castro noted that Secretary Briones issued DepEd Order 37, series of 2017 directing a “mandatory, random and suspicionless drug testing of all incumbent officials and employees in the Central, Regional and Division Offices”

— However, the solon said that subjecting all employees to a drug test goes beyond the law, citing Section 36 (d), Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, which stresses the randomness of the procedure: “Officers and employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, shall be subjected to undergo a random drug test as contained in the company’s work rules and regulations, which shall be borne by the employer, for purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace.”

— She also underscored fears that drug testing of a random sample of 60,000 junior and senior high school students as directed by the secretary’s DepEd Order 40 will be used to give way for tokhang in schools and tokhang involving students.  “How can the Department assure the public that any data will be handled with the highest confidentiality and not end up used for tokhang which has already claimed the lives of thousands including minors like 5-year-old Danica Garcia last year and 17-year-old Kian De los Santos just recently?  How can the Department assure that any student who tested positive will be in no way treated as a criminal?”

— “Sa mga nangyayari ngayon, nakikita natin na wala nang halaga ang due process—mapagkamalan ka lang, i-nguso ka lang, patay na.  Kaya takot tayo, ang mga magulang, estudyante, komunidad, na dahil sa drug testing na ito, mas marami pang mamamatay sa so-called war on drugs ng administrasyon.”

On the funding for the non-monetary benefits of teachers under collective negotiation agreements with the DepEd

— “Tatlo na po ang unyon na may CNAs with their respective Regional Offices of the DepEd, namely, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) National Capital Region Union, ACT Region VI Union, and ACT Region XI.  May mga nakapaloob na non-monetary benefits sa CNAs na ito na sa tingin natin ay kailangan sa ating mga eskwelahan kaya karapat-dapat na mapondohan.”

— Castro enumerated these benefits which the DepEd through the ROs agreed to provide in the schools within their respective jurisdictions: “Halimbawa po, yung internet connection, office supplies, bulletin boards, faculty rooms, water and water dispenser, first aid kits, lapel microphones, plaques of appreciation for retirees, annual medical and dental examinations, sports programs, and legal service.  Kung ito-total po natin itong mga napagkasunduan sa tatlong rehiyon, aabot sa mga P1.1 bilyon.  Agree po ba ang ating Secretary na makagawa ng solusyon para mapondohan sa 2018 itong non-monetary benefits na ito?”


— The Secretary did not give a reply to said question.

On a survey questionnaire of a private organization being distributed in public schools via DepEd

— Castro raised to the attention of Secretary Briones her Department Order 66, series of 2017 (dated April 6) which directs the dissemination and filling up of a survey form with obvious positions against the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, for a ceasefire and against the forging of negotiated peace settlements such as the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) sought by the peace talks, and favoring constitutional amendments.

— The following are the questions in the survey form:

1. Sang-ayon po ba kayo na permanente nang itigil ang labanan sa pagitan ng mga sundalo ng gobyerno at ng mga armadong rebolusyonaryo para mailaan na ang bilyon-bilyong pisong pondo na nauubos sa giyera ng mga Filipino laban sa kapwa

Filipino para magamit natin ito sa higit na makabuluhang mga serbisyo–publiko tulad ng edukasyon, kalusugan, pabahay, pagsugpo ng kahirapan, pagpapalakas ng kababaihan, pagpapa-unlad ng kanayunan, depensang panglabas at iba pa?

2. Sang-ayon po ba kayo na dito na sa Pilipinas ipagpatuloy ang peace talks imbes na sa ibang bansa at gawing hayagan at partisipatibo ang proseso nito para makalahok ang lahat ng sektor ng Sambayanang Filipino at ang mga mambabatas natin sa pagbalangkas, pagpapa-apruba at pagpapatupad ng mga kasunduan?

3. Sang-ayon po ba kayo na amyendahan na sa lalong madaling panahon ang mga probisyon ng konstitusyon at mga batas na balakid at hadlang sa pagsasakatuparan ng mga kasunduan at mapagkakasunduan sa pagitan ng gobyerno at ng mga armadong rebolusyonaryo?

— The memorandum, signed by Briones, also directed several “peace activities” and created a body between DepEd and Yes for Peace-Bayanihan sa Bayan, a private organization with a campaign for the above positions.

— The solon noted that the questions, which are asked of students in Grades 4 to 11, are obviously leading, misleading and miseducating, and will be used to legitimize the organization’s positions.  “Kailangan nating isapubliko ang ating posisyon na ang ganitong mga issuance ay dapat ibasura.”

— The Secretary said that they are not aware of the memorandum but promised to remove it “if it exists.”  (see attached screenshot below)

peace memo survey

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[ 23 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Privilege Speech of Rep. France Castro on the Killing of Kian Delos Santos and the call to End the President’s War on Drugs ]

Privilege Speech of Rep. France Castro on the Killing of Kian Delos Santos and the call to End the President’s War on Drugs

Mr. Speaker, Ako po ay isang ina at isa din po akong guro. Noong nabalitaan ko ang nangyari kay Kian ay bigla kong naalala ang aking dalawang anak. Dalawang lalaki ang aking anak kaya damang dama ko ang paghihirap ng puso ng mga magulang ni Kian Loyd Delos Santos na pinatay – walang awang pinatay ng Caloocan police bilang bahagi ng kanilang “One-Time, Big-Time” operation or Oplan Galugad noong huwebes ng gabi.

Pangatlo sa apat na magkakapatid. Grade 12 student sa Our Lady of Lourdes sa Valenzuela. Ang binatilyong si Kian ay nahilig sa panonood ng Narcos, isang American tv crime drama na tungkol sa pagsugpo ng droga. Si Kian na isang mapagmahal na anak ay nangahas mangarap na maging isang pulis, maging tagapagtanggol at tagapagligtas balang araw. Nangako siya sa kanyang ina na makaaagapay na sya sa mga gastusin ng pamilya once na makapagtapos sya. Pauuwiin na ang kanyang ina upang hindi lumayo pa para lang kumita nang sapat.

3 deadly gunshots. Yan pala ang kikitil sa matatayog na pangarap na naglaho sa isang iglap. Habang nagsasara ng kanilang maliit na tindahan ng school supplies si Kian noong alas otso ng gabi, siya’y tinugis ng mga pulis at nakorner sa isang dead-end sa kanila. Kitang-kita sa CCTV footage ang pagkaladkad kay Kian ng mga pulis. Natagpuan ang bangkay ni Kian, suot ang pantulog na boxers. Nagtamo ang kanyang katawan ng 3 tama ng bala na malinaw na nanggaling sa kanyang likuran. Walang kalaban-laban si Kian. Tinamnan ng dalawang sachet ng shabu at 45 kalibreng baril.
Noong linggong iyon din po ay sunod-sunod ang pagpatay sa Maynila, Caloocan at Bulacan.

Paano po tayo humantong sa ganito?

Pagsugpo sa droga at kriminalidad – yan ang pangako ni Pangulo. Lahat naman ho tayo, Mr. Speaker ay naniniwalang dapat mapuksa ang problema ng illegal na droga sa ating lipunan. Ngunit ano ang ating napala sa walang habas na war on drugs? Libo-libo ang patay, karamihan ay mga mahihirap, mga nasa maralitang komunidad.

Sabi ni Pangulo at ni PNP Chief Bato Dela Rosa na sagot nila ang mga pulis nila. Kaya’t tuluyang tumapang at naglakas loob ang mga pulis sa kanilang sunod-sunod na operasyon. Drug suspect, runner o pusher raw si Kian at siya ay ‘nanlaban’—yan na ho ang modus operandi ng mga element ng PNP upang pagtakpan ang kanilang pagpatay.

Sa halip na maging mas ligtas ay mas lalo pa hong nawalan ng kasiguruhan ang kaligtasan ng kahit sinong maglalakad sa daan. Sa nakalipas na isang taon, naghasik ng takot ang kapulisan. Mayroong natotokhang gabi man o kahit tanghaling tapat. Lahat raw ay nanlaban. Summary killings ang naging kalakaran. Hindi po si Kian ang unang menor de edad na binawian ng buhay ng war on drugs.

Ang tokhang ay paglapastangan sa pundamental na karapatan ng bawat tao sa due process of law. Tinanggalan ang bawat taong pinatay ng pagkakataong mapakinggan at mahusgahan sa harap ng hukom bilang inosente o nagkasala.

Malinaw po ang Sec. 1 ng ating Bill of Rights that “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.” Ibig hong sabihin ay pusher man o hindi, adik man o hindi lahat ay may karapatang magpaliwanag.

Ang mga sangkot sa kontrobersyal na P6.4 Billion- shabu sa customs ay inimbitahan sa ilang mga pagdinig dito sa Kongreso. Ang mga malalaking tao na pinaghihinalaan ay hiningan ng mga pahayag, humarap sa kongreso, sa senado at mga hukom. Sila po ay pinakinggan, hindi pinatay.

Ang giyera kontra droga na ito ay giyera kontra mahihirap. Naka tsinelas, naka sando. Inamin mismo ng mga pulis na hirap silang makapasok sa mga exclusive villages tulad ng sa Makati. Okay lang naman daw ito dahil may kakayahan namang magpagamot ang mga mayayamang taga village, kakayahang magkaroon ng mga family physician kaya’t makakapag rehab kung gugustuhin. Dito po natin makikita Mr. Speaker na ang pinupuntirya ng drug war na ito ay ang mga tulad ni Kian na anak ng isang OFW at isang amang tumatao sa maliit na tindahan. Pinili pong puntiryahin ng ating kapulisan ang mga tulad ni Kian na naghihikahos, na gusto lamang makapagtapos ng pag-aaral para sa ikagiginahawa ng pamilya.

Malinaw sa autopsy at mga report na murder ang ginawa kay Kian. Ngunit ano ang naging sagot ni PNP Chif Dela Rosa? Napakatigas ng kanyang puso tulad nga ng isang bato nang pinagtanggol pa ang lehitimo raw na operasyon ng Caloocan 7 Drug Enforcement Unit.
Hindi sasapat ang pagkakulong sa mga pumatay kay Kian. Mr. Speaker, ang malagim na sinapit ng binata ay dagdag patunay lamang na ang Oplan Tokhang ay isang pasistang at kontra-maralitang patakarang nagtatago sa likod ng kampanya kontra droga. Si Kian ay pinaratangang sangkot sa illegal na droga at basta-basta na lamang pinatay.

Ako po ay labis na nababahala Mr. Speaker, tulad ng kalakhan ng mga guro, kawani at mga mag-aaral sa nalalapit na tokhang sa mga paaralan. Sa bisa ng CHED Memo No. 64 ay binabasbasan ng ang mga higher education institutions na gawin dagdag na admissison requirement ang mandatory drug tests. Dagdag itong harang sa pagkamit ng mga kabataan sa kanilang karapatan sa edukasyon.
Ang Deped naman ay naglabas ng DO # 40 and # 37 na nagmamandato ng random drug testing sa Senior High schools. Ano ang kasiguruhan natin na rehabilitation ang interes at tunguhin ng mga palisiyang ito kung ngayon pa lamang ay libo-libong mga mamamayan, mga mahihirap at ilan pa ay menor de edad ang pinapatay agad. Habang sina Peter Lim, Kenneth Dong, mga Chinese smugglers at maging si Paolo Duterte mismo ay hindi tinutugis ng administrayon.

I fear that the drug testing directed by DepEd and CHEd will claim more lives and give greater license to police to conduct tokhang-like operations involving students, teachers, and personnel and in schools. Children are already being made victims of tokhang even without the drug testing. What more if it is fully implemented in our schools, against our students and teachers? They say it’s for rehabilitation and prevention but in an anti-drug campaign such as this, no rehabilitation and prevention at all will happen.

Itong giyera kontra droga ay tunay ngang isang giyera kontra mamamayan na karamihan ay mga maralita na pinapatay base lamang sa mga suspisyon o sabi-sabi ng mga kapulisan. Nararapat lamang na kagyat na itigil na ni Pangulo ang kanyang war on drugs. Dapat itigil ang pamamaslang at bigyang hustisya ang mga nabiktima na. Hustisya.

Thank you Mr. Speaker. ###