MANILA – ACT Teachers partylist Representative France Castro on Monday condemned an attempt to arrest a teacher in Malabon while she was in school, with the use of invalid documents.
Jocelyn Martinez, 45, president of the ACT-National Capital Region union, stood her ground against the three men in civilian clothes, who tried to arrest her in front of Imelda Elementary School in Malabon City on Monday, January 29.
Castro said the men had an “expired warrant” and indicated the wrong name of the accused. The warrant was also printed in poor quality, which made the text unintelligible.
“This is a political harassment [of] our teacher-leader. We condemn thus threat to the public school teachers union right,” Castro said.
Castro said ACT Teachers would remain vigilant against attempts to harass its members, especially after the men warned that they would return to get Martinez.
Aside from her post at ACT-NCR Union, Martinez is a second-termer president of the school’s faculty club and the current president of the Malabon Public Elementary School Teachers’ Association.
ACT-NCR Union is the first union of public school teachers and the biggest union in the country today, according to Castro. It successfully concluded the first Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) for public school teachers, covering 62,000 members in NCR.
“This attempted arrest is intended to impede her from fulfilling union work and to send a chilling signal to all union leaders and its members,” Castro said.
The lawmaker said the Department of Education (DepEd) failed to implement most of the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) between the ACT-NCR Union like economic benefits and provisions for better working conditions. She said the union is pushing for the implementation of its provisions, appealing to DepEd and the Department of Budget and Management for the funding of benefits under the CNA and the Magna Carta of Public School Teachers.