High school batchmate of alleged offender in UST leak shares story

June 4, 2019 - 11:43 AM
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Woman holding MeToo sign
Stock photo of a Caucasian woman holding a "#MeToo" sign that references being a victim of sexual harassment. (Unsplash/File photo)

A high school batchmate of one of the alleged offenders tagged in the controversial leakage of private photos and videos of female students recounted how she was sexually harassed before.

Screenshots of her narration were shared by the same anonymous Twitter account that initially claimed some students of the University of Santo Tomas were involved in the scandal.

The victim, purported to be from Our Lady of Mercy School of Quezon City, claimed that the incident was during the University of Santo Tomas’ “Paskuhan,” the university’s annual Christmas event open to non-students.

RELATED: Why UST students, alumni are excited about annual Paskuhan festivities

While it was not directly related to the leakage, the victim claimed that the incident was a testament to how “perverted” some of the tagged male students are.

“Manyak talaga ‘yan,” she wrote in a censored Facebook chat that was eventually forwarded to the anonymous Twitter account through her friend.

The victim alleged that her high school batchmate took advantage of her apparent inebriated condition and the circumstances at that time.

She said there were bands performing onstage at the event when she suddenly felt his hands on her hips.

“‘Yung sa Paskuhan ‘di ba, may live bands. Edi dun kami sa gitna. Dami tao,” she narrated.

“Hinihipuan na pala ako. Sa hips ko. Pataas. Tapos grabe maka-kapit,” she continued.

The Philippine Commission on Women considers actions such as glancing, winking, “leering, kissing, brushing up against a person intentionally, pinching, touching, to rape or attempted rape” as forms of sexual harassment.

The UST Faculty of Engineering said it is already investigating the incident following allegations.

 

“The University of Santo Tomas does not condone any inappropriate conduct exhibited by students or teachers. It is committed to maintain a learning environment that develops character, attitude and moral values based on Catholic teaching,” its statement reads.

“We are saddened by the alleged involvement of our students and a faculty member in an online misbehavior. In response, we have immediately placed the students and faculty member under administrative investigation,” it continued.

The scandal 

Last week, two women’s organizations condemned the leakage of alleged private photos and videos of female students—some who were reportedly minors—from schools in Metro Manila.

An anonymous Twitter account claimed that some male students from UST’s College of Engineering were the ones responsible for posting the incriminating files online without the girls’ consent.

“’Yung mga baboy mula sa UST Engineering, hindi lang sa UST tuma-target ng private photos na i-li-leak. Halos lahat ng schools sa Metro Manila — college man o high school (na menor de edad) — may files sila,” the account claimed in a thread.

RELATED: Reported leak of UST students’ private photos, videos earns condemnation

The photos and videos were initially shared in a Facebook group and its screenshots, shared in a Google Drive.

The Twitter account also purported that a member of the university faculty was involved.

Women’s party-list Gabriela decried the act and called for the victims to come forward so that appropriate actions will be taken.

UST Hiraya, an intersectional feminist organization, also urged the victims to contact them so that a complaint would be filed against the offenders with the help of the UST Central Student Council.

Last May 29, Wednesday, certain male students of the Philippine Science High School were barred from attending their graduation rites due to spreading naked pictures of their ex-girlfriends among themselves and online.

The incident was widely condemned since it showed a clear case of voyeurism that is considered a criminal offense under Philippine law.

According to psychiatrist Sharon Moore, victims of voyeurism may be at risk of developing stress disorder or hypervigilant behavior after the invasion of their privacy.