The Department of Education (DepEd) is launching an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by teachers at a local high school in Cavite based on a Twitter thread that went viral over the weekend.
In a message sent to reporters, DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa called the accusations “highly disturbing news” and sought to assure the public that his agency was taking them very seriously.
Poa also confirmed that an investigation was underway and said the teachers were currently on “floating status” and were not actively teaching any classes.
On Saturday, a Twitter thread compiling screenshots of inappropriate texts allegedly sent by teachers to students at Bacoor National High School made the rounds. Some of the messages showed one teacher asking a student to be his mistress, while another asked, “Nakatikim ka na ba ng bading? (Have you tasted a gay man before?)” and invited a student to have sex.
“Gusto mo ba pumunta dito? May experience ka na ba sa bading?” (Do you want to come over? Do you have any experiences being with a gay man?) the teacher asked.
“Ayoko po sir (I don’t want to, sir),” the student replied.
Another screenshot also showed a teacher asking a student if he would agree to have sex in exchange for money.
“Pano f me mag offer sau na alagaan ka nya… gay sya… (What if someone offers to take care of you, and he’s gay?)” the message read.
Other former students responded by coming forward with their own experiences of being sexually harassed by their teachers.
This investigation follows another series of high-profile sexual abuse allegations at a high school in the Philippines. In July, calls by alumni to investigate reports of physical, verbal, and sexual abuse going on for decades at the Philippine High School for the Arts prompted Vice President and education secretary Sara Duterte to order an investigation.