Oliver Bugarin 5 0 0 4 min to read

Outside of schools, protests impede learning: NTF-ELCAC

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) emphasized how disruptive protests outside of educational facilities are to students, teachers, and the general public.

Speaking on behalf of the NTF-ELCAC, spokesperson Chris Gonzales said on Tuesday that the freedom of speech and the ability to demonstrate are not inalienable rights.

Gonzales praised the Quezon City Police District for acting swiftly outside Corazon Aquino Elementary School in Barangay Batasan Hills during the start of school on Monday. He said protesters posing as child rights activists should not be permitted.

According to a statement from Gonzales, “These rights are governed by laws, and it is a basic rule that in the exercise of these rights, the rights of other people must not be disturbed as well.”

“It obviously violates the peace and order to stage a protest action in front of a school as classes are about to start. It infringes on the pupils’ rights to a tranquil, stress-free studying environment, he continued.

Around 6:30 a.m., the Batasan Police Station 6 got a complaint from a concerned citizen, which prompted the police to disperse the protesters, who were being led by Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns Inc.

The organization initially requested permission from the Police Assistance Desk to hand out alcohol and school supplies to youngsters close to the school entrance, according to Brig. Gen. Nicolas Torre III, director of the QCPD.

When the group unexpectedly brought out streamers and posters, blocking the entrance for parents and students and creating long lineups, Torre claimed that their true intentions became clear.

Negotiations were made to get the demonstrators to take down their placards, but they refused, according to the QCPD.

Eventually, the banners and streamers were seized.

“The school is a haven of tranquility. Therefore, any breach of that peace calls for an appropriate response from peace officers or the police, Gonzales added.

While the distribution of alcohol and face masks is commendable, he continued, it should not be used as justification for organizing an unauthorized protest program on a busy sidewalk and in front of a school.

According to Gonzales, “We vehemently condemn any and all attempts by all CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) affiliated anti-government organizations disguising themselves as human rights defenders who continue to sow disinformation and lies aimed at corrupting the minds of our youth.”

Salinlahi described itself as a non-governmental and non-profit organization that raises awareness about child labor, online child sexual abuse and exploitation, and safe return to school in a statement released in Filipino on Facebook on Tuesday.

Additionally, it stated that it opposed the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is made mandatory for seniors in high school and asserted that its members had provided food and school materials to thousands of children.

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