PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy denounced the board of trustees of a state secondary school for allowing some students to graduate despite being involved in cases of voyeurism and sexual harassment.
The government official claimed in a Facebook post that this year’s graduation rites of the Philippine Science High School would be “marred with scandal and such grievous injustices.”
Badoy narrated that certain male students of the school were allowed to graduate despite sharing naked pictures of their ex-girlfriends—some of whom are still minors—among themselves and on the internet.
According to her, the school’s board of trustees allowed the “delinquents” to graduate “with a mere slap on the wrist” despite the incident.
“For showing naked photos of girls who had the bad sense of trusting such untrustworthy human beings and then sharing it among themselves and then throwing it in cyberspace—where low lives like them will feast on these images—for doing all these, Philippine Science is rewarding them with a diploma from the country’s top science high school,” she lamented.
Badoy clarified, however, that her daughter was not one of the victims.
“My daughter is not one of these girls but even as I am grateful, it matters little to me. Those girls are my daughters. And I feel so diminished by the terrible injustice they have suffered in the hands of these offenders,” she wrote.
In the comments section of her post, the PCOO undersecretary claimed that the male students are “not minors.”
Condemned by parents
Concerned parents of the Philippine Science High School – Main Campus (PSHS-MC) similarly condemned the decision of the school’s board of trustees and urged them to reconsider the matter.
According to them, the male students were involved in “voyeurism, sexual harassment, lewd acts, grave threats and possibly other criminal acts.”
The PSHS-MC Executive Parents Teachers Council stated that the male students committed an offense under the PSHS System Student Code of Conduct, particularly Part 5.3.2. of Level III which reads:
“Engaging in any form of voyeurism which includes the posting of indecent or lewd photos or videos on the internet.”
Further, any student who has committed a “two major offenses” or at least a “level III” type of offense within a school year shall not be allowed to graduate.
The council also enumerated the specific provisions violated by the male students under Republic Act 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009.
The law prohibits the distribution and reproduction of photos and videos concerning a person’s sensitive body parts without the latter’s consent. This includes disseminating it on VCDs, DVDs, the internet, cellular phones and other similar devices.
Violations were also done by the male students under Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, according to the council.
The certain law protects women from being sexually harassed which includes “treating a woman or her child as a sex object” and being subjected to psychological violence that results in “mental or emotional suffering of the victim.”
Women’s party-list Gabriela, meanwhile, has opened its line to the victims so that due action will be appropriately taken.