By Marjaleen Ramos
The Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) said it is taking steps to ensure safety in its community amid the alleged sexual misconduct among its faculty.
“The Ateneo de Manila University does not tolerate or condone sexual harassment by any member of its community,” the university said in a statement released Wednesday.
“Measures are in place to ensure the protection of our students and employees from any form of sexual harassment, at the same time guarantee that due process is followed, all parties are heard, and justice is served,” it added.
Students and faculty members of Ateneo staged a campus protest on Tuesday to demand for proper administrative efforts in addressing cases of sexual misconduct and violence by its professors.
A student victim detailed his experience of sexual harassment by a professor in a Facebook post that made the rounds on social media.
The demonstration was held in front of the Horacio de la Costa Hall, where the accused professors’ offices were located. It 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.
The student said the professor only got suspended for 15 days after a six-month wait for the decision on the case.
The Ateneo administration, meanwhile, said it cannot disclose any information that might reveal the identities of individuals concerned, the content of the proceedings, and the consequent decision made by the University in line with the Data Privacy Act and the Safe Spaces Act.
“We assure the Ateneo community and the public that we are taking every step possible to ensure that students and employees are safe from sexual harassment. We are committed to improving our systems and working together with all our stakeholders in building a safer and more gender-sensitive Ateneo.”
Read more: Ateneo students protest sexual harassment by professors