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Miscellaneous

After almost a year, victims lament DepEd handling of BNHS sexual abuse issue

Enough Is Enough (EIE), a youth group of gender equality activists and victim-survivors of sexual offenses in campuses called out the Department of Education (DepEd) for failing to provide the results of their investigation into the multiple cases of sexual abuse in Bacoor National High School (BNHS).

Hilbert Sabareza
Hilbert Sabareza in BNHS campus

Last May, one of the accused teachers was reportedly seen inside BNHS even taking selfies with fellow teachers. In June, EIE received reports that he aggressively stalked a BNHS student, a minor from the male comfort room of SM Bacoor, as revealed in a now-deleted Facebook post.

On June 15, EIE implored the Deped by seeking full public disclosure of the result of its investigation and to explain how the department plans to ensure the safety of the students. The group was referred to ‘concerned offices for appropriate action,’ but as of writing, has not heard back from the Department.

“Students and parents alike demand concrete actions to address our grievances. DepEd’s silence on this matter proves their incompetence in keeping schools a safe space and protecting learners.” said Sophia Reyes, EIE lead convenor.

“How can we trust their supposed commitment to rid campuses of predators and enablers, when DepEd, once again, compromises our safety by allowing abusers to roam our schools?” said Andrew, not his real name, one of the victim-survivors from BNHS.

On September last year, the DepEd said they have filed administrative cases against 5 of the predators linked to grooming and sexual harassment of students in Bacoor National High School. Meanwhile, EIE sources claim that they have identified eleven teachers preying on students.

“It seems that filing those administrative cases was only a knee-jerk reaction. Without any transparency on the results or progress of their investigation, the DepEd was only waiting for the issue to die down.” added Andrew.

Reyes revealed that since the BNHS issue, there has been a steady rise on reports of sexual abuse in senior high schools including the rape of a 13-year-old female in the music room of a private school in Quezon City last April.

EIE, formed at the height of the uproar after sexual abuse at the Bacoor National High School became public, has pushed for: Predators and enablers be charged with criminal and administrative cases; their professional licenses be revoked; That predators be blacklisted and barred from employment that involves vulnerable sections of the population; and the establishment of a national registry of offenders.

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