NBI identifies 3 suspects of ‘abuse’ at Philippine art school
August 22, 2022 | 00:00
MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has identified three suspects in allegations of sexual abuse that allegedly took place at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) in Los Baños, Laguna.
According to Eugene Javier, an investigator with the NBI’s Special Action Unit, none of the victims interviewed by the media about the alleged abuse were willing to file a formal complaint.
The NBI submitted a report to Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Duterte-Carpio, advising her that it is up to the Department of Education (DepEd) to determine administrative accountability.
“Our jurisdiction is only on the criminal side. Anything less is hearsay and inadmissible in court,” Javier said, stressing the importance of notarized affidavits from victims.
“Victims disclosed the alleged culture of abuse at PHSA to the media, in hopes that reforms would be instituted,” the NBI said in its report to DepEd.
“We leave the administrative aspects to the DepEd, which requires much less evidence than what we are limited to,” Javier said.
The three suspects identified by the NBI include a senior student, who was expelled due to sexual abuse allegations; a teacher, who allegedly demanded that students stay with him overnight so he could assault them, and a male dorm parent who harassed underage girls.
“The teacher passed away in November. The dorm relative underwent and failed a polygraph test at the NBI forensic laboratory,” Javier said.
The NBI is ready to reopen the case once the plaintiffs decide to come forward and file a case.
Javier said complainants can come to NBI’s headquarters at the V. Tech Tower in Quezon City to formalize their complaints.
The story first appeared on Vice World News, in which the victims detailed the alleged sexual, verbal and emotional abuse they suffered at the hands of students, teachers and staff at the PHSA.
Victims said the “ordeal of having to endure abuse as an artist’s rite of passage” left them traumatized. They want the school to be held accountable.
The school administration denied the allegations.