PUP student council calls for accountability over alleged online harassment

March 18, 2021 - 10:43 AM
PUP Manila campus
The main entrance of the Manila campus of Polytechnic University of the Philippines as seen on Google Street View in 2020.

A student council of a state-run university denounced an online harassment case involving a student and a professor.

In a statement on March 16, the PUP College of Communication Student Council said it received a report of the incident and expressed support to the victim.

“We stand firm with our advocacy for safe spaces and we believe that this inappropriate and malicious action of the said professor is clearly a form of harassment and is punishable by law. Hence, the perpetrator, including the faculty and the college administration should be held accountable for taking the situation lightly and putting the blame on the survivor,” read the statement.

The student body also noted that it will not disclose further details as the investigation within the university is still ongoing.

Without mentioning any names, the council called on the college administration to bring justice for the victim and other students the professor allegedly showed malicious behavior” toward.

“We call on the COC administration to duly recognize the survivor’s situation and appeal of justice, provide a survivor-centered assistance and hold the perpetrator accountable for his malicious behavior towards his students,” it said.

“We believe that the college should serve as one of the safest space for everyone. The professors and the college administration should not invalidate nor ignore this kind of incident,” it added.

The group also called on the entire PUP administration to educate and train professors and other employees about sexual harassment and violence within the campus.

“Lastly, we call on the PUP administration to provide adequate and proper training and education to their employees to prevent any forms of sexual harassment and violence which became rampant for the past years, both online and offline, in the university. It should also be part of the training and hiring system of the university as well. We must never tolerate and turn a blind eye on such spiteful behavior, instead, we must take immediate actions against it,” it said.

The college celebrates its own “Safe Spaces Month” this March wherein members of the student council advocate for safer and more inclusive spaces in their community.

March is considered Women’s History Month commemorated around the world.

The Philippines has several laws that cover online sexual harassment and exploitation. These include the Safe Spaces Act, the Cybercrime Prevention Act and the Anti-Child Pornography Act.