‘Rethink ROTC instead of red-tagging teachers that support transport strike,’ group tells Duterte

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 6) — A teachers group urged Vice President and Education Secretary Sarah Duterte to “rethink” the restoration of the mandatory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), instead of red-tagging teachers that support the nationwide transportation strike this week.

“What's worse, Duterte dares to red-tag ACT (Alliance of Concerned Teachers), putting in danger teachers and educational workers who comprise their unions,” the group said.

“Duterte should take time to rethink the mandatory ROTC being railroaded by lawmakers in a false attempt to instill nationalism,” it added.

Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy made the statement on Monday, following Duterte’s remark that both teachers group ACT and transport group Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) are “militant organizations.”

Earlier, Duterte said Piston is an organization “poisoned by the ideologies of the bankrupt Communist Party of the Philippines, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the New People's Army.”

Duterte also said ACT is “a group that is diametrically nowhere near in the service of the interest of the learners and the education sector.”

“This is not red-tagging. This is a statement of fact,” Duterte said.

On Saturday, ACT slammed the Department of Education for not suspending classes amid the nationwide transportation strike, stressing that DepEd’s decision “proves its insensitivity and obliviousness.”

However, Duterte said the weeklong protest is “communist-inspired” and a “painful interference” in the education system.

READ: Weeklong transport strike a ‘learning disruption’ – DepEd