Teachers press for Supervisor’s Ouster

Jun. 14, 2009

By Concerned Information News Service/Media Mindanao News Service
(August 15, 1987 News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988)

SOUTH COTABAO (CINS/MMNS) – Protesting elementary teachers from the coastal town of Glan this province have encamped since Tuesday outside the education office to press for the ouster of a high-ranking school official.

Dubbed the Kampo ng Bayan, Alay sa Edukasyon, the protest action was staged to dramatized the demand for the dismissal or relief of Glan district supervisor Esther Yap. Yap is currently facing charges before the Department of Education and the Tanodbayan for alleged graft and corrupt practices.

Antonio Falqui, spokesman for the Federation of Glan Concerned Teachers (FGCT) said Yap’s administration had peddled teacher’s profession for a fee ranging from 2,000 pesos to 6,000 pesos to unqualified applicants. He also cited the collection of unauthorized miscellaneous fees from pupils which he claimed would exceed 300,000 pesos annually.

Falqui who was among those injured when Yap’s loyalists clashed with protesters in the evening of August 1 further said that forced contribution and salary deduction have been exacted from teachers. This was aggravated by withholding of treasury warrants, Falqui added.

Before the encampment, protesters marched around Marbel as a squad of soldiers watched from the gates of the division office. Four Catholic priests concelebrated a mass after the march.

In a circulated manifesto, the FGCT assailed other unnamed administrators for habitual drinking and gambling even during office hours. In addition, the teachers’ group have charged that special education funds have been misused , depriving teachers of necessary benefits.

FGCT stressed that these are not problems of Glan residents alone but are symptoms of an educational system which is colonial, undemocratic, commercialized and elitist.

Yap, it was learned, has been ordered transferred February this year to another district by Education Secretary Lourdes Quisumbing. But Yap remained on account of a court injunction. Last March 18, Yap was again ordered to transfer to Malapatan town but a pending court hearing obstructed her.

On August 1, about 20 picketeers were hurt when Yap’s loyalists dispersed protesters in front of the district office. Falqui said that the attackers were armed with sticks, stones and crowbars and were allegedly under the influence of liquor. Teacher’s belongings which were left after the dispersal were collected by Yap’s followers then burned under the very noses of military personnel, Falqui added.

Falqui said the camp-in would go on indefinitely until this case will be resolved by Secretary Quisumbing. (Media Mindanao News Service News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988)

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