Arrest of Ronnel Mas over online post an 'overkill' says Alliance of Concerned Teachers

ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio | Photo from Davao Today
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines described the arrest of Ronnel Mas as 'overkill' after the public school teacher allegedly posted a seditious post on social media offered P50-M reward to anyone who can kill President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a statement, ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio, argued that the tweet of Ronnel Mas, did not deserve such harsh measures from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and denounced the arrest as selective law enforcement.

"Teachers' dire economic state is no secret to the people, especially to the government…Ronnel obviously does not have P50 million to pay as bounty hence his post clearly does not pose any serious threat to the President,” Basilio said.

Ronnel Mas | Photo credit to CoolBusters

Photo credit to Inquirer.

“Why then did the NBI spend valuable time and resources to apprehend this teacher?" Basilio added.

ACT also noted that there are other teachers who have been arrested during the enhanced quarantine period for airing out their disappointments and frustrations over the government’s faulty response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The group also questioned how the authorities did not show the same aggressiveness to even more violent and disturbing posts by the Duterte's supporters against the administration’s critics.

“More baffling for the teachers’ federation is the prevalence of even more violent and disturbing posts and pronouncements by Duterte supporters and even government officials against critics of the administration which had not been met with the same aggressive response from law enforcers,” Basilio said.

Photo credit to Journal

ACT cited the President Duterte's various official media briefings where he called on authorities to commit violent acts, against critics and anyone else deemed as enemies of the government.

“It is therefore clear that this is not a matter of implementing the law down to the last letter, but a selective imposition depending on the powers-that-be’s prerogatives,” Basilio said.

"This is an issue of repression and punitive actions” against dissenters and sentiments that may be seen as anti-government. “This is an attack on free speech, on democracy [and] an attempt to sow fear among the people, to dissuade them to speak up about their situation and convictions,” he added.


Source:  Manila Bulletin

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