CTU to take legal action if complaint malicious

RESPONSE. The Cebu Technological University (CTU) addresses questions from the media on the sexual harassment allegations against one of its professors, in a press conference at the CTU Main Campus, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.Among those who attended were lawyers Christian Bacus (left), acting chief legal officer, and Joelie Medalle, Committee on Decorum and Investigation chairperson./  rInvestigationchairperson. / Ralph Martinez
RESPONSE. The Cebu Technological University (CTU) addresses questions from the media on the sexual harassment allegations against one of its professors, in a press conference at the CTU Main Campus, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.Among those who attended were lawyers Christian Bacus (left), acting chief legal officer, and Joelie Medalle, Committee on Decorum and Investigation chairperson./ rInvestigationchairperson. / Ralph Martinez

THE Cebu Technological University (CTU) is considering legal action against anonymous complainants who raised allegations of sexual harassment against a professor at the CTU main campus.

This is if the university can prove that the anonymous complaints had malicious intent to tarnish CTU’s name.

In a press conference on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, lawyer Joelie Medalle, chairperson of the CTU’s Committee on Decorum and Investigation (Codi), said they are planning to pursue legal remedies as the anonymous complaints of sexual harassment by one of its professors against CTU students and employees, which has already gotten media attention, has besmirched the university’s reputation.

“We are here to protect and defend the name of CTU,” said Medalle, who earlier questioned the motive for the anonymous complaints.

Medalle said their legal office is currently in the process of collecting evidence.

Assuring protection, the school, however, still called on the victims to contact the school and make a personal sworn statement if they want the harassment complaints to prosper.

Medalle reiterated that the anonymous harassment complaints sent to them have been investigated and were dismissed due to the absence of an identified complainant and sworn statement.

She said they would proceed with their internal investigation should anyone come forward personally and provide a sworn statement.

“We are doing our duties within the bounds of the law,” said Medalle.

In August 2023, the office of the CTU president received the first anonymous complaint via email from individuals claiming to be friends of the victims. The president’s office then issued an order for the Codi to investigate.

Medalle said during the last week of August, the Codi convened, and the alleged offender responded on Aug. 29

Throughout August to September, Medalle said the Codi investigated and contacted both complainants and alleged offender. In September 2023, the Codi issued a resolution dismissing the case due to the absence of individuals willing to personally appear, make a sworn statement, and provide evidence.

In October 2023, the office received a second anonymous complaint telling them to ask various personalities to verify the claims. The personalities mentioned by anonymous complainants were uncooperative and one denied the claims.

SunStar Cebu failed to get a copy of the first two complaints.

In December 2023, the last complaint was sent to various officials in CTU and the media.

The letter contains harassment allegations against a professor. Additionally, it alleges sexual advances by some officials toward students and employees, which were allegedly not addressed by the school.

The Codi has reaffirmed its position and defended CTU, asserting they have made efforts to contact the anonymous complainants and oppose their assertion that the committee is not doing its job.

Christian Bacus, acting legal officer of CTU, said the comparison made by the complainants with a case at Xavier University is not applicable since the complainant on that case appeared and made a statement.

The case was also against a lawyer and not a civil servant.

“Any complaint on a civil servant must be sworn under oath,” said Bacus.

In their letter dated Dec. 29, 2023, the anonymous complainant said they hoped that CTU’s investigating body would “prioritize moral fairness and thorough investigation over technicalities.

SunStar Cebu also tried to get the side of the sender of the complaints via email but to no avail.

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