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Youth call for revisions to Bawal Bastos Law after unjust incarceration of sexual abuse victim

Enough is Enough Ph (EIE) called on lawmakers to revisit the Safe Spaces Act after a victim-survivor from Bacoor National High School (BNHS) was arrested for four cases of cyber libel filed by his former teachers accused of sexual harassment.

The group called the charges filed by the BNHS teachers as “an act of retaliation” against the victim-survivor and argued that the Safe Spaces Act has failed to protect victim-survivors.

“Despite the Safe Spaces Act of 2019, justice remains elusive and tragically fails to protect victims,” EIE Lead Convenor Sophie Reyes stated. “The unjust incarceration of alias Robert after standing up against campus sexual harassment illustrates how the Safe Spaces Act has failed to protect victims. Meanwhile, perpetrators are free to weaponize cyber libel against victims of sexual harassment.”

The Safe Spaces Law was enacted five years ago and yet there are still many cases of sexual harassment in schools all across the country that do not even reach courts.

According to Reyes, “There are no less than 60 schools with issues of campus predators and in all of these cases, victims are unable to use the Safe Spaces Act to exact accountability from school authorities and have their predators receive criminal sanctions. The DepEd’s performance is dismal and disgraceful.”

In August 2022, alias Robert, a victim-survivor of campus-based sexual harassment and abuse from BNHS, publicly came forward about the abuse he and his schoolmates were subjected to by their predator-teachers.

Last April 5, he was arrested on four charges of cyber-libel from four predator teachers in BNHS and remains in jail as EIE assists alias Robert’s family in raising bail funds.

The group, founded after the abuse at BNHS leaked, is seeking amendments to the Safe Spaces Act, including 1) mandating schools to provide psychological, legal, and financial support for victim-survivors, 2) predators and enablers being charged with criminal and administrative cases, 3) revoking professional licenses and the blacklisting of campus predators, 4) establishing a publicly-available national registry of sex offenders, and 5) the establishment of an anti-retaliatory policy to protect victims from retaliation by perpetrators.

Support for alias Robert’s bail fund may be coursed through GCASH # 09276509197 (Kate Leonor).

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