Embroiled in a bullying controversy, Joaquin Montes recently gave his first ever interview alongside his mother. The teenager explained his condemnable actions caught on tape while his mother apologized to Ateneo de Manila University and to her son’s victims.
“I would like to apologize for the action of my son, sa nasaktan niya (to those he hurt), sa school kung na-drag man ang school sa issue na ‘to (to the school if this school was dragged into this issue),” the mother told GMA News. “I apologize pero gusto ko ring hingin ‘yong understanding ng tao na bata itong anak ko e (but I also want to ask the people to understand that my son is a kid).”
Montes used to attend the Ateneo de Manila University. As a taekwondo practioner, he won a gold medal for the school in sparring during the Quezon City Athletic Association (QCAA) Championships on November 30, 2016, according to the school’s website.
On December 19, 2018, a video of Montes physically attacking a fellow junior high school student at the Ateneo de Manila University went viral. Two more videos showing the teenage taekwondo practitioner physically and verbally attacking fellow students were also leaked.
On December 23, 2018, the Ateneo de Manila University announced that the punishment imposed to Montes over the bullying incidents was dismissal. This means that the teenage taekwondo practitioner is no longer allowed to go back to the school.
“After a thorough investigation that included listening to all parties involved, the decision of the administration is to impose the penalty of DISMISSAL on the student caught bullying another student in the comfort room of the school,” Ateneo de Manila University president Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ stated. “This means that he is no longer allowed to come back to the Ateneo.”
On December 24, 2018, the parents of one of Montes’s victim released a statement, which was obtained by GMA News. Their son was the one assaulted in the bathroom of the Ateneo de Manila University.
“Our son, without his doing, became the poster child for a bullied boy,” the parents stated. “But rather than remembering him as a victim we would want you to see him as a young man of good moral foundation. How, in the face of violence, he did not fight fire with fire, upholding instead his virtues of what is right from wrong.”
Meanwhile, here is Filipino comedian Jeffrey Tam performing a magic trick for Montes: