Ateneo de Manila University president Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ has released a statement on the controversial videos showing incidents of bullying involving Ateneo Junior High School students. The videos show Joaquin Montes, a teenage taekwondo champion, verbally and physically attacking other students.
Montes is reportedly a black belt in taekwondo. He won a gold medal in sparring during the Quezon City Athletic Association (QCAA) Championships on November 30, 2016, according to the Ateneo de Manila University website.
Villarin did not mention Montes or any name of a student in his statement. He emphasized that Ateneo de Manila University neither condones bullying behavior nor hesitates to punish students who commit grave misconduct.
“On 19 December 2018, a video of Ateneo Junior High School student engaged in physical violence was posted in social media,” Villarin said in the statement. “That same evening, Principal Jose Salvador issued a statement that the school had launched an investigation into the matter. Since then, more videos have come to our attention.”
As Villarin noted in the statement, the Junior High School Committee on Discipline of Ateneo Manila de University has been meeting since the incident of bullying was reported. The committee is said to be conducting all the inquiries needed to come up with a decision on the matter.
“I request as well your prayers for our students and their families and all those affected by such terrible incidents of violence,” Villarin stated. “Let us pray and live for peace during this season that marks the birth of the Prince of Peace.”
The responsibility to implement and oversee the school’s anti-bullying policy is on the school principal or any person who holds a comparable role. Signed into law by former President Benigno Aquino III on September 6, 2013, the Republic Act 10627, also known as the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, requires all elementary and secondary schools in the Philippines to adopt an anti-bullying policy and to provide students and their parents or guardians a copy of the policy.
Meanwhile, here is one of the bullying videos of Montes: