In an 11-page decision promulgated on April 10 but released only yesterday, the Supreme Court (SC) agreed in full session to suspend Cresencio Untian Jr. from practicing law for five years and teaching law at any school for 10 years.
Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City FB Page
Law professor suspended for sexual harassment
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - July 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A law professor at the Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City has been suspended for sexual harassment of his students.  

In an 11-page decision promulgated on April 10 but released only yesterday, the Supreme Court (SC) agreed in full session to suspend Cresencio Untian Jr. from practicing law for five years and teaching law at any school for 10 years.

The SC said Untian violated Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Lawyers, which states that lawyers shall not engage in “unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.”

“The respondent abused the power and authority he possessed over the complainants. His sexually-laced conduct created a hostile and offensive environment which deeply prejudiced his students. In what was supposed to be a safe place for them to learn and develop, they were instead subjected to unwarranted sexual advances,” the ruling penned by Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr. read.

The high tribunal disagreed with the position of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines that Untian should be suspended only for two years since he did not request or demand sexual favors from his students.

“The essence of sexual harassment is not the violation of the victim’s sexuality but the abuse of power by the offender... what the law aims to punish is the undue exercise of power and authority manifested through sexually-charged conduct or one filled with sexual undertones,” the  SC said.

The administrative case stemmed from the complaint filed by three female students, one of whom claimed Untian sent her romantic text messages and love notes and invited her to go to with him in Camiguin.

The other student claimed Untian teased her in front of their class after showing her a naked photo of a woman who, according to him looked like her.

The third student cited the sexual undertones in Untian’s response when she told him “come again” to repeat his question during a recitation.         

CRESENCIO UNTIAN JR. SEXUAL HARASSMENT XAVIER UNIVERSITY IN CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY
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