A SENATOR has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the proliferation of sexual crimes in various schools in the Philippines.
Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” N. Hontiveros-Baraquel under Senate Resolution 168 cited alleged harassment and abuses by teachers at Bacoor National High School in Cavite, St. Theresa’s College in Quezon City and the Philippine High School for the Arts in Los Baños, Laguna.
“Do our schools follow the law?” she said in a separate statement on Wednesday. “Sexual harassment cases brought up to the educational institutions’ notice must be resolved in a transparent, pro-active and timely manner in order to ensure the swift delivery of justice.”
“It seems that reporting their experiences on social media is becoming the last resort of students because they may not be listened to or taken seriously in their schools,” she added.
Ms. Hontiveros detailed evidence shared online by victims from the Bacoor National High School, including messages of married teachers allegedly forcing students into illegal and immoral relationships. The Department of Education will probe at least six teachers.
In 2021, several reports of sexual harassment cases, including those from St. Theresa’s College, spread online.
“I’m sure these schools are not the only ones with cases of violence, abuse and harassment,” the lawmaker said. “Often, victim-survivors do not report because their abusers are persons of authority. How many more of our students are suffering in silence? We can’t just let it go.”
Arjay Bartelosa, a staff at Bacoor National High School, told BusinessWorld by telephone the school would issue a statement soon. St. Theresa’s College did not respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan