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Duero Principal, 12 Teachers Cleared of Child Abuse Charge
« on: July 27, 2008, 09:45:27 AM »
Published by Sunday Post

A principal of the Duero Central Elementary School and 12 teachers were cleared  recently of two counts of child abuse filed by two parents.

Cleared were Lourdes Castillo, the school principal and the 12 teachers identified as Nenita Alupit, Ma. Gina Jano, Antonia Achacoso, Vicente Salazar, Emelia Olano, Melanie Ampo, Dioscora Escobal, Eutropio Escobal, Lilian Cemini, Helen Olano, Pedrita Berandal and Ireneo Bayron, Jr.

Third Asst. Provincial Prosecutor Eric Ucat cleared the 13 respondents  for lack of appreciable evidence to warrant the indictment of respondents in court.

The two counts of child abuse were filed by parents Arcadio Aguiman, Jr. and Jefferson Torralba, all of Duero town.

They were the parents of two minors (name withheld) who are members of the DCES Drum and Bugle Corps.

As members of the drum and bugle corps of the school, their group participated in several competitions.

When the corps won in two competitions-- a cash prize of P51,000 and in another contest P35,000, the school decided to honor the members with a tour.

Unknowingly, the so-called “tour” brought them to the office of the provincial prosecutor with the 13 teachers charged of child abuse.

The legal trouble of the 13 respondents started after the two sons of the complainants went home crying after they were disallowed to join the tour.

When complainant Aguiman confronted respondent Achocoso, the teacher said to him that his son was made to step down the bus that  they boarded for the tour because the child  had just submitted a waiver.

On the part of the other minor, the son of Torralba, the reason why he went home and cried was that their principal (Castillo) did not allow him to join the tour because his waiver was belatedly submitted.

RESPONDENTS’ DEFENSE

Except for respondent Alupit, who contended that there was no deadline for the submission of the Parent’s Consent of those who would join the tour, the rest were in unison in saying that the reason why the two minors were not allowed to join the tour was that the two of them were not able to submit their respective written parental consent before the scheduled deadline.

It was established during the preliminary investigation of the cases that it was only after the deadline of the submission of the written parents’ consent when complainants decided to allow their respective sons to join the tour.

With this situation, Prosecutor Ucat contended that the aggrieved parents should have brought to the attention of the principal and or the parents could have made arrangements with Castillo because she, being the head of the school, was the one who took charge of the activity.

The prosecutor continued: whether complainants would like it or not, the said tour was a school activity only that it was done outside of the school campus thus, it was subject to the pertinent regulation and or policy of the Department of Education.
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