Palace: What about the rest?

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Malacañang yesterday lauded the decision made by Ateneo de Manila to dismiss a high school student involved in a number of bullying incidents, saying it “commends the school administration’s swift action.”

“We note, however, that the investigation has yet to be concluded as regards the rest of those involved,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement sent to reporters.

“While we respect ADMU’s academic freedom, we hope that it could finish the ongoing investigation the soonest and with regard to due process, in line with applicable jurisprudence on schools,” he added.

The official also noted that the Palace was made aware of “several incidents” of “bullying that go unpunished” in schools and expressed hope that such incidents will not be tolerated nor condoned.

Ateneo’s decision was apparently reached based only on the bullying incident that transpired inside the comfort room, without touching on three other bullying incidents involving the same student and his friends.

Other videos circulating showed at least one other involved in bullying plus the videographer.

What’s apparent from all four videos was that the student dismissed was playing it up for the camera as he was prancing and speaking to the one who took the video.

In one bullying incident, the dismissed student had a companion wearing dark shorts who also engaged in asking the bullying victim to kiss his shoes.

Reports have it that the boy in dark shorts may also be a taekwondo practitioner.

Aside from a more thorough investigation by Ateneo on the others involved, the Philippine Taekwondo Association is also being pressed to expel the “bully” from the sport for violating one of its tenets – modesty.

The “bully” and his elder brother, said to have been dismissed from San Beda also for bullying, are both taekwondo blackbelts.

Meanwhile, Panelo urged private and public schools to “strictly monitor the activities of their students and ensure the strict implementation of Republic Act 10627, otherwise known as the Anti-Bullying Law.”

Panelo also called on parents and guardians to properly guide their children and to serve as good examples for the youth to emulate.

“As adults, our children look up to us for support and guidance. We cannot stress enough how important it is for us to spend quality time with them during their growing years, especially in a generation where modern technology has become a fierce competitor for the youth’s time and attention,” the spokesman stressed.

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