Ateneo de Manila University is currently embroiled in controversy. Mary Thomas, an assistant professor in the Department of English of the private Catholic Jesuit research university in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, is being accused of abuse.
In May 2013, Thomas obtained her doctoral degree in Philosophy in English from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Her areas of specialization are European Literature, Crime Fiction and Murakami Haruki (Modern Japanese Literature).
Thomas was one of the speakers in the first ever Haruki Murakami Festival in Manila. The Japan Foundation, Manila showcased one of the world’s best-selling and most popular Japanese contemporary novelists from February to March 2018 with more than 3,000 audience members.
On October 15, 2019, students of Ateneo de Manila University gathered to protest against sexual misconduct of professors in the university. Among the professors named were Thomas, Jade Principe and Migoy Lizada.
On August 12, 2019, the student council of the university responded to students’ concerns about a case of sexual harassment against a professor and the lack of updates about the issue’s resolution. According to the statement, information on sexual misconduct investigations are sensitive personal information so they are not easily disclosed, as per the Data Privacy Act (DPA) of 2012.
In 2018, several professors including Carlo Rivera were also linked to sexual abuse allegations in Ateneo de Manila University. The university investigated the allegations and concluded that there were no sufficient evidence supporting the claims.
The Ateneo de Manila University has yet to release an official statement in response to the recent accusations against Thomas, Principe and Lizada. Meanwhile, netizens are currently talking about them on Twitter.