Briones issues warning vs sexual predators

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MANILA, Philippines — Education Secretary Leonor Briones issued a stern warning against sexual molesters that they have no place in any learning places and events.

In a statement, Briones said: “behaviors that endanger the physical and mental well-being of our learners are not tolerated in the department.”

Briones warning came after the arrest of a Cebu City public school teacher who was accused of making sexual advances to a student-athlete at the 2018 Palarong Pambansa in Ilocos Sur.

Briones stressed that teachers, school administrators, and non-teaching personnel should “perform functions and conduct themselves, in and outside the classroom, with the responsibility of protecting learners from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation, violence and discrimination in mind.”

Rodymar Lelis, 28, was charged with acts of lasciviousness before a Vigan court.

Lelis is a special education (SPED) teacher in Zapatera Elementary School in Cebu City.

Lelis allegedly hugged him inside the comfort room, but before the incident the teacher was reportedly seen taking a picture with the victim after the latter performed his dance routine.

The teacher allegedly attempted to plant a kiss, but the victim was able to push him away. The teache also allegedly offered to pay him in exchange of sexual favors.

DepEd investigated the incident in aid of administrative cases that may be filed against the accused personnel who was a spectator at the event and not part of any regional delegation.

DepEd’s action on the incident is pursuant to the department’s Order No.40 series 2012 or DepEd Child Protection Policy and Republic Act No. 7620 or Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.

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