Ateneo probe finds story of rape on campus ‘likely a hoax’

December 14, 2018 - 12:53 PM
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Ateneo Blue Eagle Gym
The Blue Eagle Gym on the Ateneo de Manila campus on Katipunan Avenue. (Wikicommons/Ramon Velasquez)

The administration of the Ateneo de Manila University announced that the alleged rape on its campus narrated through an anonymous post on a Facebook page was “likely a hoax” after an investigation.

Vice President for the Loyola Schools Maria Luz Vilches in a statement released on Friday morning discussed the findings of the investigation that started in November 2018 after a post on the Facebook page “ADMU Freedom Wall” went viral.

According to Vilches, the university’s reporting channels were unable to confirm the alleged incident. The CCTVs installed near the area where the incident took place also showed no indication of anything suspicious.

No suspicious news or activity was also monitored on campus.

The school also said that it tapped the assistance of the police to investigate. It was their consultation with law enforcement that yielded the finding that the story was likely a hoax due to the lack of witnesses or complainants approaching both the school and the authorities.

The school’s administration said that despite its findings, it would remain committed to the safety and security of students on campus.

“The University takes reports of sexual assault seriously, and regardless of the findings, we continue to ensure the safety and security of everyone inside campus,” Vilches said.

She added that additional CCTVs were installed around campus and that additional roving security guards were deployed. A security consultant was also hired by the school to review its security systems.

Faculty and students have echoed the need to take reports of sexual assault seriously.

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The anonymous submission dated November 24, 2018 came from a supposed female student in the university who claimed to have been assaulted by two men in the bathroom of one of the buildings inside the campus.

She said that she was unable to identify the assailants as she was blindfolded while the act was carried out.

Campus incidents

The November 2018 story was not the first incident of sexual misconduct to be reported through the “ADMU Freedom Wall” page after gaining traction.

In October that year, a student submitted a story about a professor at the university who held one-on-one individual consultations in his bed room and solicited pictures of students’ feet.

Complaints were filed against the professor, launching an investigation into the claims.

The Ateneo administration after the complaints said that it would be enforcing a stricter anti-sexual harassment policy on campus.

The school has not yet confirmed the findings of the investigation on the alleged sexual misconduct by the professor whom they did not name.