Senator to Ateneo: Name sex offenders
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Risa Hontiveros yesterday expressed concern over reports of sexual harassment at the Ateneo de Manila University.

She said the school’s marketing and communications office clearly misunderstood the Safe Spaces Act or Republic Act 11313, which protects the identities of the accused if they are minors, not adults accused of being sex offenders.

“As a woman, Atenean and mother, I am extremely concerned about reports of sexual harassment at the Ateneo de Manila University allegedly committed by professors against their students and colleagues,” Hontiveros said.

She said she is “incredulous” that Ateneo cited the law as “one of its reasons for refusing to heed the call for greater transparency regarding the identities of the harassers and the overall conduct of the school’s investigations into the matter. It is patently false and a misrepresentation of the intent of the law.”

While the law recognizes the right to due process, Hontiveros said it does not condone any culture of secrecy regarding cases of sexual harassment, especially if it favors the harassers.

“No space is ever safe for as long as sex offenders are allowed to thrive. The Safe Spaces Act was passed into law to keep potential victims safe from different forms of gender-based harassment and abuse. It is not meant to insulate offenders from accountability. Because the first safe space is the truth,” she added.

               

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