Miriam College creates panel to look into sexual harassment complaints
This photo from the Miriam College website shows its main campus in Quezon City.
Miriam College website
Miriam College creates panel to look into sexual harassment complaints
(Philstar.com) - July 5, 2020 - 3:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — Miriam College has created a committee tasked with investigating complaints of sexual harassment in response to accounts circulating online. 

Countless students of the institution's high school took to social media earlier in June to air their grievances over experiences of sexual misconduct at the hands of faculty members, prompting students of other schools and universities to do the same. 

The new Truth and Justice Committee "will look into complaints of Sexual Harassment on students," Miriam College said in a statement issued Sunday afternoon.

"We reiterate our call for all aggrieved to report incidents of sexual harassment by submitting their formal complaints through safespaces@mc.edu.ph," said Ambassador Laura Del Rosario, Miriam College president.

The committee is composed of:

  • Dr. Maria Lourdes "Honey" A. Carandang, a clinical psychologist with special training in child and family therapy, recognized pioneer, author, teacher, mentor, and advocate in the field of child and family psychology
  • Former Maryknoll/Miriam College Alumni Association Chair, Maria Resa "Sam" S. Celiz, a lawyer who specializes in Corporate and Data Privacy Law;
  • Ma. Gabriela "Gaby" R. Concepcion, Maryknoll College alumna and Triple A Awardee, a public service advocate, media practitioner, lawyer and professor at the UP College of Law
  • Maryknoll Sister, Sister Teresa "Sr. TD" Dagdag, spirituality formator and an advocate for justice, peace, and integrity of creation
  • Ray Paolo "Arpee" J. Santiago, Executive Director of the Ateneo Human Rights Center, a lawyer who advocates for vulnerable groups, particularly women, children, urban poor, and peasants
  • Former Presidential Human Rights Committee member, Rene V. Sarmiento, author and professor of Human Rights Law and Constitutional Law. 

The college's Women and Gender Institute also said in an earlier statement that it would ensure that the high school unit would "process the administrative case hearings of the issues our students have raised, and may continue to raise."

Corresponding with the Hija Ako movement, the calls from Miriam College's students sparked a litany of allegations of abuse involving professors of other institutions over the past week with many students—including those from Ateneo de Manila University and St. Theresa's College in Quezon City—sharing their accounts on social media.

The former, whose case is the second in months, said it would take action "if warranted" but promised its students that it would "listen [to] and support anyone who has experienced harassment."

In a separate statement, former education undersecretary Albert Muyot reminded schools of their mandate "to effectively adopt and implement their respective child protection policies to protect children and youth in school from all forms of abuse, violence, exploitation, discrimination, and bullying." — Franco Luna

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