Embrace, kiss on forehead a fatherly gesture

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Friday, August 22, 2014


THE teacher accused of sexually harassing a 17-year-old student admitted kissing her inside a room of a state university in Cebu City last month.

In his counter-affidavit, Liam (real name withheld) denied he intended to sexually abuse his student assistant Janis (real name withheld), a resident of Liloan.

“I felt pity on her and was looking at her with compassion, with my fatherly intention I asked her ‘Pwede makakiss?’ which more or less means in English: ‘Can I kiss you?’

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As she was looking at me, I kissed her in the forehead, followed by a gentle embrace, which to me was more of a friendly and fatherly gesture,” he said.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to interview the teacher inside the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) office of the Cebu Technological University (CTU) main campus yesterday morning. He declined.

CTU chief administrative officer Jerlito Letrondo said a committee consisting of seven members is conducting a preliminary investigation on the complaint filed by Janis against Liam, a drafting technology instructor.

Administrative lapses

Letrondo, who is part of the committee, said they will finish their inquiry by the end of this month.

Their findings, he said, will be forwarded to the board of regents, which will then decide what to do next.

Janis first filed a handwritten complaint before the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 last July 25, a day after the incident. A second complaint was filed before Letrondo’s office early this month.

Letrondo said they are only investigating the administrative lapses that may have been committed by the teacher.

The student, he said, can charge Liam before the Office of the City Prosecutor with criminal complaints.

In her affidavit, Janis said Liam instructed her to go to the PTA office on the fourth floor of CTU’s administration building to wash dishes. She obliged.

When she was inside the room, Liam followed and gave her P500 as a birthday gift. She accepted the money, because he insisted even though she did not want to accept it.

‘Fabrication’

Afterwards, Liam embraced her and made advances on her. Janis resisted.

The drafting instructor, however, said he had bad intention in giving the money “prior to the act of kissing and fondling as she falsely claimed.”

He said Janis fabricated details to implicate him in violating Republic Act (RA) 7610, or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, and RA 7877, or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act.

“In truth and in fact, after I insisted that she should receive P500 as it was given to her with all sincerity, I kissed her in the forehead only and gently embraced her and tapped her shoulders, then left the PTA office,” Liam said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2014.

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