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Pisay parent says daughter ‘knows she was abused, needs to fight’

The posting of private photos of some female students of the Philippine Science High School began as early as the school year 2017 to 2018, a parent of one of the victims has said.

The parent said their family received a letter from the student discipline office in the early part of the last school year informing them of an ongoing investigation and inviting them to attend the planned interview of their daughter.

“That’s when we knew. Apparently, it has been going on at least the past school year and it surfaced just this school year," the parent told GMA News Online.

Students of PSHS and their parents have expressed their protest of the Board of Trustees' decision to allow six students to graduate despite being found liable for posting online private and unseemly pictures of female students.

Campus officials initially decided to mete the penalty of not being allowed to graduate but the BOT ruled that the erring students should instead render 30 days of community service.

Three hearings

The parent said they attended a total of three hearings over several months. 

After the hearings, the school’s discipline committee issued a recommendation to the management committee, the parent said.

The parent said that his daughter is aware about the other girls who were victimized. One of her friends was also a victim.

“She seems to be doing well.  However, in these cases, you never really know,” the parent said.

“We’ve discussed it privately and within the family.  She knows she’s been abused, she knows she needs to fight for her rights, she knows she has all our support,” the parent added.

No happy graduation

In a Facebook post, Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy of the Presidential Communications Operations Office lambasted the decision of the Board of Trustees “allowing 14 boys to graduates when they ought to be expelled.”

Badoy, whose daughter is one of the graduating students, said this year’s graduation “is marred with scandal and such grievous injustices.”

In her post, she narrated: What happened was their high school girlfriends (all Pisay students) had the bad sense of trusting these hoodlums with naked photos of themselves.

“When they broke up, these boys found each other (water seeking its own level) and shared these photos among themselves. What’s worse is some of them uploaded these images of their underage exes online,” Badoy said.

Badoy said she followed the case closely "because I wanted to make sure these boys got the fullest sanctions they could possibly get. At the very least to never become Pisay grads."

"But I merely blinked and there it was—Philippine Science High School Board of Trustees rewarding these delinquents with a Pisay diploma—and with a mere slap on the wrist,” Badoy said.

Badoy claimed the students had showed no remorse.

DepEd against child abuse

Sought for comment, Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones said she would not tolerate abuse of students and will look into the matter.

Briones is a member of the BOT.

“The department is against child abuse, whether it is done by fellow children, more so by adults,” Briones told GMA News Online in a phone interview.

Briones said she already asked the DepEd regional director concerned to give her a report on the PSHS incident.

According to its website, Philippine Science High School System is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). 

It has various campuses all over the country; the Quezon City branch along Agham Road is its main campus.

The Board of Trustees (BOT), with the DOST Secretary as the Chairman, is the highest policy making body of the PSHS System.

The Executive Director coordinates the implementation of BOT approved policies and guidelines to the PSHS campuses.  —NB, GMA News