Teacher frustrates arrest try in front of class

By RAYMUND VILLANUEVA
Kodao Productions

A teacher frustrated an attempt to arrest her in front of her students, spotting errors in the warrant presented to her by three men in civilian clothes.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers-National Capital Region Union (ACT-NCR) president and maths teacher Joselyn Martinez said refused to accept the warrant when she saw that it was addressed to a certain Jocelyn Ramirez.

Warrant of arrest presented to Joselyn Martinez. (Contributed photo)

“I noticed the men at about 9:40 in the morning, one wearing flip-flops, walking by my classroom several times. I knew they wanted to talk to me, so I approached them after class,” Martinez said.

The men presented a warrant with the wrong name, issued by Branch 74 of the Malabon Regional Trial Court for the charge of Falsification of Public Documents.

“I told the men I will not accept the warrant because it had a different name,” Martinez said.

She said she did not receive any summon nor subpoena before the incident.

She added that police officers even entered one of her classrooms, alarming her Grade Six students.

Aside from wearing civilian clothes, the men also did not identify themselves, Martinez said.

The men left her at about 11:40 in the morning.

Martinez was able to finish teaching duties, before being fetched by a quick reaction team led by ACT Teachers’ Party Representative France Castro.

Martinez said the incident is pure harassment against her as a union leader.

Harassment

Martinez blames her Imelda Elementary School principal Melinda San Pedro for the incident, saying her superior is against her union activities as well as her advocacy for transparency in their school.

“She disallows my attendance in union activities, even if I present Department of Education (DepEd) memoranda allowing me as regional union president,” Martinez said.

San Pedro also castigated teachers she suspects of supporting Martinez and the ACT-NCR Union, she added.

“She is active in union-busting,” Martinez told Kodao.

The Union is the first-ever regional union of public school teachers and the largest among public sector employees.

It was accredited on Jan. 11, 2012as the sole and exclusive negotiating agent for the 62,000-strong teaching force in NCR and signed a Collecting Negotiating Agreement with DepEd in 2015.

But Martinez said San Pedro may only be following directives of DepEd secretary Leonor Briones she accused of “anti-teacher” policies.

ACT-NCR Union has organized rallies denouncing Briones’ refusal to work for teachers’ salary increases.

Martinez said the Union is planning to hold condemnation rallies at Imelda Elementary School and at the Malabon Division on City Schools on Wednesday.

“We will also file an unfair labor practice charge against San Pedro at the Civil Service Commission,” she said.

Quick condemnation

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and ACT Teachers’ Party immediately denounced the incident.

“This brazen act of intimidation and harassment must be exposed and the Philippine National Police must immediately issue an explanation,”ACT said.

“This attempted arrest is harassment to the union with an intent to subdue and pacify them. Attacks against Ma’am Joy or any other union leader are attacks against the membership of the union they represent,” Rep. Castro said.

The Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) also denounced the attempted arrest of Martinez, saying it comes just two days after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s latest rant against perceived leftist organizations.

“We are concerned that this is the Duterte administration’s chosen manner to terrorize public school teachers into silence and to cooperating with their Charter Change plot,” MAT said in a statement.

In case the Duterte supermajority succeeds in approving constitutional amendments in Congress, it will be the public school teachers who will handle the ratification vote, the group explained. Reposted by (http://bulatlat.com)

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