DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A protesting Lumad student found another battle to face as she filed charges against a suspected member of the intelligence community for acts of lasciviousness.
Jenna, 16, a Grade 9 student of Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Learning Center is among the protesters staying outside the Department of Public Works and Highways in Panacan here since June 30.
The students and teachers of STTICLCI in New Visayas, Maco, Compostela Valley are seeking government intervention over the militarization of their campuses.
However, on the eighth day of their protest, Jenna was sexually harassed by a man.
In an exclusive interview with Davao Today on Monday, Jenna, (not her real name) said she and her friend went to use the portalet around 8:30 pm Friday when Loreto Malbino passed by and touched her left breast.
Jenna said Malbino was accosted by the marshalls manning the protest camp. She said he introduced himself as Loreto Maban, 40 and a resident of Malita, Davao Occidental. The suspect also told them that he works as a laborer at the DPWH.
But the Save Our Schools Network suspected that Malbino could be part of the military’s intelligence.
“When confronted by the group, the offender’s conflicting answers on his identity raised suspicion that he could be an intelligence asset. He did not carry any identification (card),” the SOS said in a statement Friday.
“He later shouted for help towards the direction of the DPWH office near our camp and we were surprised that two burly men came to us from that direction. These men offered to take this offender, but we refused and said we can handle this situation,” it added.
The SOS Network added that there was a police patrol car nearby, but there was no police officer nearby.
“We had to go across and find the police officers and notified them of the incident, and they took the offender and we accompanied the student to file a police report,” it said.
The victim along with her father filed a case against the suspect on Monday. Her father said he wants the suspect to be imprisoned.
“Aw nabalaka gyud ko kay ako ma’ng anak. Pag-abot nako diha mao diay nahitabo ingon ko na maayo ipapriso gyud. Kay para katong nakasala magbinastos sa mga bata nga underage masilotan gyud sa insakto (I was worried because she is my child. When I arrived here and knew what happened, I said the suspect should be imprisoned. So that those who harass underage children will be punished),” he told Davao Today.
The suspect is now in custody of Sasa Police Station.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Association Community Educators (ACE) in Mindanao and Basic Education Assistant Coordinator of Talaingod cluster, Ramel M. Miguel said they are ordering the students to not go elsewhere alone, especially during night time to prevent such incidents from happening.
“Karon among ginabuhat ginaorient namo among mga estudyante nga dili maglakaw-lakaw nga nag inusara ilabi na og gabii. Kinahanglan pag molakaw sila, naa sila’y kauban, (What we are doing now is orienting our students to not wander elsewhere alone especially during night time),” Miguel said.
Miguel added that the students were angered by the incident and left them questioning where else should they go to seek help as they also face harassment here.
“Ingon ang mga estudyante, kung sa bukid ginahasi mi ug karon nga naa mi diri, hasion gihapon mi. Asa gyud diay mi dapat molugar? (The students said if they are in the uplands they are harassed, now that we are here, we are still harassed. Where should we go?),” Miguel said.
Despite this, Miguel said they will continue their protest until the government address the issues they raised. (davaotoday.com)