4 Kidapawan school execs acquitted of child abuse

Published May 30, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Malu Cadelina Manar

Kidapawan City – After 11 years, a court here has acquitted four school officials here for child abuse after the alleged failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Acquitted of child abuse, as defined by Republic Act 7610, were Leah Godoy, head teacher of the Amas National High School; and teachers Maria Fe Insular, Rachel Mamacus, and Ferdinand Begornia.

The decision was promulgated on May 7 by Judge Arvin Sadiri Balagot of the Regional Trial Court branch 17 here.

Records showed the case stemmed from a complaint by the parents of a 16-year old student, identified in the case as “AAA,” who was denied enrolment in fourth year high school in 2007, but was instead admitted as a third year high school student.

The school’s refusal to accept her in fourth year prompted her parents to file a complaint with the Kidapawan City Prosecutor’s Office in 2007 against her second year high school adviser Insular; third year high school adviser Begornia; school principal Godoy; and staff Mamacus.

On November 19, 2007, the Prosecutor’s Office found the school officials and teachers of, “conspiring, confederating, and mutually helping with each other, willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously refused and declined to enroll Miss “AAA”… thus compelling her to enroll in other high school, which acts caused emotional and psychological distress upon the private complainant.”

The school executives defended their decision by saying Miss “AAA” failed in some of her second year subjects.