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Ateneo students protest sexual harassment by professors


By Gabriela Baron

Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) staged a campus protest on Tuesday against alleged sexual harassment by professors.

The protest was led by Philosophy instructor Luther Aquino.

“This isn’t just about particular incidents of sexual misconduct; it is about how this university is run because the rot goes all the way to the very top. It goes all the way to the decision-makers who have made it possible that these cases of sexual misconduct could go unpunished for so long,” said Aquino.

Students protested in front of the Horacio dela Costa Hall where the accused professors’ offices are located.

Several allegations of sexual misconduct at the said university made the rounds on social media.

A now-viral post by a student victim detailed his personal experience with a certain “MT”, who he said is a tenured professor.

“While having a one-on-one consultation with her, MT touched me in my inner thigh. At the moment, I was uncomfortable, frozen in fear, and I felt extremely unsafe,” he recalled.

He added that “MT” threatened to fail him from the class and to file a “bogus” plagiarism case against him.

“The threats got so bad that I deliberately avoided going to class,” he continued.

The student also revealed that he filed a case against the professor who only got suspended for 15 days.

“She was only suspended for 15 days, more than 12 times shorter than my wait for the decision. Take into consideration the fact that MT is tenured and has many connections in the school admin and is in fact part of the student discipline committee. It is clear that they are protecting her,”

The student lambasted the university for being “far too lenient and protective of sexual harassers.”

Meanwhile, in 2018, a post in the “ADMU Freedom Wall” Facebook page drew attention when a student posted his accusations against a professor who allegedly sent inappropriate messages inviting students to a “private consultation.”

Ateneo’s student government, Sanggunian, condemned the “lack of proper administrative efforts in addressing cases of sexual misconduct and violence” of the university’s administration.

“The Sanggunian vehemently condemns any and all forms of sexual misconduct and violence, and calls on the administration to assure the Loyola Schools community that they hold the same convictions in condemning such acts,” it said in a statement.

Sanggunian added that there is no excuse for “any behavior that contributes to an extremely toxic and damaging culture which permits the violation of another person’s dignity, trust, and well being.”

“As tolerance for such acts often leads to the perpetrators walking away having felt no serious repercussions or consequences for their actions,” it continued.

Meanwhile, according to a report by GMA News, the Ateneo administration vowed that all reports would be “intensively investigated and heard.”

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