DUTERTE: I was afraid my little daughter would come home one day with a blind eye
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
At his young age, the 8-year old was more than a campus bully. He is also a sadist and braggart who threatened to kill Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Sadly, the bully’s victim is no less than the 8-year old daughter of Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, son of the mayor.
The boy’s threats are part sadism and part boast: he would go to her house and kill her family including her grandfather Mayor Duterte or stab her with a scissor.
There was physical: He twisted her fingers until she cried.
The latest assault led the girl to tell on the bully: He grabbed her school bag and threw it into a garbage bin.
There was a mix of pity for her little girl, anger for the bully, the boy’s father, the school, and helplessness when the Vice Mayor wrote about the incidents on his Facebook account.
“Unsa inyo buhaton ug ang inyong anak babae gina-bully sa eskwelahan ug lalaki. Ani ang ginabuhat: bantaan nga patyon iyang pamilya adtuon sa balay; dunggabon imong anak ug gunting; lubagon ang tudlo hantud muhilak; sultihan patyon ko ng lolo nimo; unya ang latest gilabay ang bag sa basurahan.”
Duterte said he had brought up the bullying to the boy’s father who did nothing to stop it. The school administrators also did nothing to stop the boy from hurting her daughter, he said.
“Unya ikaw amahan, gi-warningan na nimo ang amahan sa bully nga badlungon iyang anak unya wa gihapon! Any advice? Di na storyahan ang skwelahan kay wa poy gnabuhat. Maayong buntag kaninyo tanan,” an apparently irked Duterte said in his Facebook post Tuesday.
Although the incident is a personal matter, Duterte said the act of bullying requires attention from school authorities and the Department of Education (DepEd).
He said the boy’s father made no reaction when he told him about the builying in a Face book post.
Duterte said the bullying of his daughter continued even as he complained at the school administrators who merely told him that the case was being looked into by the guidance counselor.
With the boy’s father and the school uncaring about the bullying, Duterte said his lawyer, Alexis Lumbatan, has sent letters to the boy’s father, the school and DepEd about the bullying incidents.
Duterte did not say if his counsel’s move is a prelude to filing a case in court.
Bullying in the campus is punishable under Republic Act No. 10627, also known as the “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013,” entitled “An Act Requiring All Elementary And Secondary Schools To Adopt Policies To Prevent And Address The Acts Of Bullying In Their Institutions.”
Signed by President Benigno Aquino last year, RA 1067 defines the act of bullying as “any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof” that is “directed at another student,” with effect of “actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property; creating a hostile environment at school for the other student; infringing on the rights of the other student at school; or materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of the school.”
Duterte said bullying in schools is not being addressed and is raising the issue to prod school authorities to watch out for campus bullies.
I think it is about time. If it is not me, who will do it? he said.
Duterte said the most frightful of the bullying incidents his daughter narrated to him was about the boy pointing a pair of scissors at her.
I feared of my daughter one day coming home with blind eyes, he said.
President Benigno Aquino III signed on September 12, 2013, Republic Act No. 10627 that requires anti-bullying policies in all elementary and secondary schools in the country.
RA 10627 or the “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013,” prohibits and defines bullying as “any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property.”
Schools must come up with their own policies and sanctions against such prohibited acts committed within their campuses or during school-related activities.
Cyber-bullying or bullying done through use of technology and electronic means, as well as bullying inside school buses, will also be prohibited.
“The law prohibits bullying at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related…if the act or acts in question create a hostile environment at school,” the statement said.
Those who violate school policies on bullying will face disciplinary sanctions and will undergo a rehabilitation program administered by the school.
Schools must include in their policy clear procedures on how to report and respond to acts of bullying or retaliation.
RA 10627 also requires schools to maintain a public record of relevant information and statistics on bullying incidents, without revealing the names of students.