VP Duterte says remark on transport strike is factual, not red-tagging

By: Inquirer.net - Inquirer.net | March 06,2023 - 09:38 PM

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte INQUIRER file photo / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte INQUIRER file photo / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — When she called the week-long transport strike as “communist-inspired” and a “painful interference,” Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said she is only stating a fact and not red-tagging.

Duterte issued the statement on Monday, after House Deputy Minority leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro denounced her “red-tagging” of ACT and public utility drivers who joined the transport strike.

READ: Sara Duterte calls week-long transport strike ‘communist-inspired, pointless’

In her latest statement, Duterte called Piston as an organization “with leaders and members poisoned by the ideologies” of the Communist Party of the Philippines, National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.

She also called ACT as 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.

The Education chief emphasized that the progress and future of the learners cannot be left to the whims of organizations acting on bare selfish motives.

“Magkaroon man ng tigil pasada, walang tigil sa pag-aaral ang mga kabataan,” she added.

(Despite the transport strike, it will not stop the students from studying.)

She reiterated that the government opposes the transport strike since it is “problematic,” and will “hurt learners.”

“If you cannot understand our position, or refuse to understand our position, or even pretend not to understand our position, this is only because of your unbelievable propensity to push a hardline agenda that punishes the general public,” the Vice President said.

Unbecoming of an educator

The Angat Buhay-Edukasyon (ABE) said it found the statement of Duterte against the ACT and the transport strike extremely disappointing.

ABE said in a statement on Monday that Duterte could have displayed openness to discourse and new ideas and attentiveness to the plight of the marginalized, which are traits of a “model teacher.”

“However, by red-tagging both ACT and the participants of the strike, she has become the opposite of that ideal educator,” it said.

“In the end, Secretary Duterte chose to be close-minded,” the organization added.

ABE asked Duterte to take a lead as a model teacher in this situation by hearing all sides instead of resorting to malicious name calling.

Meanwhile, they also questioned the secretary to heed the call of teachers for salary upgrading and additional benefits considering the inflation.

“All Filipino teachers are facing meager wages while facing a humongous workload—the last thing that we need is another baseless accusation that puts our lives in danger,” the organization said in the same statement. — Mae Anne F. Bilolo, INQUIRER.net intern


LIVE UPDATES: Face-to-face classes, work suspended as transport strike looms

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army, Piston, red-tagging, Sara Duterte, Vice President

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