Ateneo probes professor for sexual harassment
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - October 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Ateneo de Manila University has initiated an investigation of a faculty member accused of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Ateneo vice president Maria Luz Vilches said her office has elevated the case against the unnamed faculty member to the university’s committee on decorum and investigation, which probes cases of sexual harassment.

The investigation took off after several students shared on social media their experiences with the professor.

“On behalf of the Loyola Schools community, I empathize with and apologize to any and all victims who have experienced such unacceptable behavior, especially perpetrated by someone they trust,” said Vilches.

“I equally empathize with and apologize to their families who have had to bear with these difficult situations. To those who have spoken, thank you for your courage. No one should be made afraid to speak the truth,” she added.

Last week, a post on an anonymous Facebook submission group for Ateneo students circulated after it described the student’s experience with the professor.

Sanggunian, Ateneo’s student council, later said other students and alumni have reached out to them with complaints against the professor.

It noted that other sexual harassment cases have also resurfaced.

The student council said its commission on anti-sexual misconduct has been working tirelessly to listen, provide counsel and guide the victims.

It called on other victims of the professor who are willing to come forward, saying it would file a comprehensive case on the incidents.

Vilches stressed that the university takes allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment seriously and diligently, noting that Ateneo is committed to creating a safe environment for all.

“These bodies that have been created are not just concerned with investigating and hearing cases of sexual misconduct or harassment. And they are not just about making sure that people have places to bring their complaints to without fear of reprimand or censure,” she said,

“They have also been created to ensure that the community is educated, informed about and is respectful of basic rights, gender sensitivity and due process. The safety we try to promote on campus is a creation of all who live in this one sacred space,” added the Ateneo official.

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