Thursday, August 05, 2021

Public school teacher charged in court for illegal collection of fees, misconduct

A PUBLIC school teacher from Cebu City is facing criminal charges in court over the allegedly illegal collection of school fees and misconduct.

Irish Inabangan-Amores, graft investigation and prosecution officer, filed the case before the Regional Trial Court accusing Rico Cayanan, teacher 1 of Abellana National High School, of violating Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Cayanan allegedly took advantage of his position and, with “manifest partiality and evident bad faith,” illegally collected P46,550 as supposed fees for their schools from his 54 students.

A P30,000 bail has been set for his temporary freedom.

The anti-graft office also suspended Cayanan for six months and a day after he was found liable for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by the ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office accusing Cayanan of unauthorized collection of school fees and improper behavior in the performance of his functions as a public school teacher.

An informant called the ombudsman and reported the allegedly irregular acts of Cayanan.

The anti-graft investigating office conducted a fact-finding inquiry and gathered the sworn statement of the school principal and affidavits of Cayanan’s 54 students.

The students complained that Cayanan collected from them P100 each as payment for used air-conditioning unit, P90 as payment for spa machine, P80 for a steamer, P100 for tarpaulin, among others.

The teacher also sold allegedly overpriced items to his students. He forced his students to buy his goods in exchange for additional grading points.

The students also complained that Cayanan ordered them to wash carpets, curtains, blankets, water glasses, and even comb his hair.

Cayanan allegedly threatened to give his students failing grades if they would not buy his products.

In his counter-affidavit, Cayanan argued that the items he was selling were part of their Cosmetology Beauty Care subject, which he was the instructor.

The training facility for the course requires a beauty care spa room or laboratory with functional equipment, apparatus, tools, implements and materials, such as air-conditioning units, facial steamers, electric pot and electric stove.

And since the school did not provide for the above facilities and materials, Cayanan said he had to buy them himself and would let his students use them for free.

Cayanan said the students agreed to pool their resources to buy equipment and tools. He said he did not compel the students to purchase.

In the resolution, Inabangan-Amores said that unauthorized collections of school fees created a bad impression to school teachers, thus, detrimental to the public service.
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