Education International
Education International

Philippines: demonstration against privatization of education ends with police brutality

published 19 February 2008 updated 19 February 2008

A peaceful demonstration organized by teachers and students defending quality public education in the Philippines was violently dispersed by law enforcement officers last January 31. As a result of police brutality, 23 demonstrators were injured. Other 6 demonstrators were arbitrarily arrested.

Antonio Tinio, chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, informed EI that charges will be filed against the Manila Police District. Tinio declared that the police "made use of unnecessary and excessive force in suppressing the protest action". He went on to add that the authorities "violated our constitutional rights to free expression and freedom of assembly".

Joanna Rose Adenit, a teacher and member of the ACT, was one of those arrested during the demonstration. She was astounded by the blatant violation of the right to freedom of expression, especially as it occurred in the Rizal park, which is dedicated to "the hero who died so that Filipinos could enjoy the right to free expression."

Education International vehemently condemns this new act of violence against teachers in the Philippines, one of the most hostile countries for trade unionists, a fact previously denounced by the international education community.

The EI 5th World Congress adopted a resolution condemning the persecution against union and human rights activists. To read the full text, please click on the link below.