MANILA The Philippine Science High School Board of Trustees (PSHS BOT) did not allow six of their male students to join the school's graduation ceremony.
In a statement on Wednesday, the PSHS BOT said "three of the boys will get their diplomas while the other three will only get certificates of completion of the six-year program".
The board added that they have to "comply with additional requirements which are part of the sanctions given them" for allegedly posting nude photos and videos of five female students online.
"We assure the public that the PSHS Board has exerted its best efforts in arriving at this decision and we request that this be respected. We urge everyone to move forward from this incident and provide the needed support to the students and the PSHS community," the statement read.
In an interview with reporters, PSHS executive director Lilia Habacon stressed that the board's decision was "not due to the pressure it received from the PSHS parents and students" who were pushing to ban the six male students from today's graduation ceremony.
"It was not a sudden change [of decision] but a long and tedious process for the board to come up with the decision," Habacon said.
On May 23, PSHS parents and students staged a protest at the school's open field, calling for the BOT to ban the six male students with pending cases of child abuse and cybercrime from graduating.
Dr. Lawrence Madriaga, PSHS main campus director, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the six were recommended by the management "for non-graduation because of the gravity of their offense but the BOT decided that they would simply render 30 days of community service".
In a meeting with Madriaga and parent-supporters of the victims, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Brenda Manzano advised all the concerned supporters to "formalize their appeal and present it to DOST Secretary Fortunato dela PeAa, who is a member of the BOT". (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency