Five out of seven teachers allegedly involved in the sexual harassment of learners in Bacoor, Cavite have been charged administratively, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).
In a press briefing, DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa said the DepEd made the move following the initial investigation on malicious conversations allegedly initiated by teachers, supposedly showing sexually-motivated invitations, that have surfaced on online platforms.
“I guess the question is why only five were charged out of the seven. When we spoke with the schools’ division office and legal department, they said there was not enough evidence yet to include the two others in the complaint. That’s why we were only able to press charges against the five,” Poa said.
The five teachers were charged with grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and violation of DepEd Order 40.
The five teachers were charged with grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and violation of DepED Order 40, series of 2012.
These charges come with a 90-day preventive suspension for the five teachers, as well as their right to choose either “proceedings by position paper only or by trial”.
Moreover, the DepEd insisted it is of great value for victims to come forward and file complaints to strengthen the case and ensure adequate measures for safe learning spaces in schools.
“We are calling on victims of alleged sexual harassment to come out and give your affidavit, statement, or evidence so that we can file formal charges,” he added.
In another statement, the DepEd reiterated its zero-tolerance against all forms of abuse to learners in schools and assured the public they are taking these issues “seriously.”
“We are determined to ensure that schools all over the country are safe spaces for our learners and free from sexual predators.”
“We are determined to ensure that schools all over the country are safe spaces for our learners and free from sexual predators… We understand that reporting experiences of sexual abuse and violence are often hampered by fear and feeling of embarrassment, but we urge Kindergarten to Grade 12 victim-survivors to report these incidents directly to the Office of the Secretary,” it said.
The education authorities added that learners may contact them via email or hotline numbers, even after office hours.
The public, whether complainants or concerned individuals, may send their reports to email@example.com, or via their hotline numbers at 8633-1942, 8635-9817, and 09959218461.