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Teacher unions in Southeast Asia condemn principal’s beheading

3 May 2010 No Comment

(Originally posted on November 15, 2009)


Teacher unions from neighboring countries have sent messages condemning the kidnapping and murder of elementary school principal Gabriel Canizares.

The severed head of Canizares, 36, principal of Kanague Elementary School in Patikul, Sulu, was found in downtown Jolo on November 9. His body was recovered over the weekend. He was kidnapped by armed men last October 19 and held for ransom.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers national chairperson Antonio Tinio said that a number of teachers’ unions from Malaysia and Cambodia have sent messages extending their sympathies to the family of the victim and condemning the brutal act. “We thank our brothers and sisters overseas for expressing their solidarity in defense of teachers’ rights,” said Tinio.

“We convey our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of brother Gabriel Canizares on their bereavement,” said Elizabeth Dikertina, Secretary of the Miri division of the Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU).

“We join our voices in unison in condemning the despicable act of the criminals and pray that those responsible will be brought to justice,” said Irene Wong, Secretary of the Sarikei Division of the STU.

“We are in solidarity against this barbaric act by some bandits that violate the human rights of educators. We urge the authorities to take action to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators in order to give justice to our fellow educators,” said Kourn Ngourn, Secretary General of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association.

“It’s time teachers around the region act together to condemn such a despicable act,” said Hamidi Mookkaiyah of the Malaysian Association for Education.

Tinio explained that teacher organizations in Southeast Asia affiliated to Education International have formed a Trade Union Rights Network, which seeks to promote respect for human and trade union rights in the ASEAN region.#


Reference:  Antonio L. Tinio

ACT Chairperson and President, ACT Teachers Party-List



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