MANILA, Philippines – Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr, the Philippines' top diplomat, said the bully caught on video at the Ateneo Junior High School (AJHS) "should be beaten senseless" even as many Filipinos, including senators, called for sobriety.
"The bullied kid may be haunted by this abuse. He is the abuser. He should be beaten senseless. Trust me, this works – sometimes permanently. Jesus, what's the world coming to when bullies are babied instead of beaten," Foreign Secretary Locsin said in a tweet on Friday, December 21.
Locsin later on clarified he made a typographical error, and he meant that "the abuser should be" the one "beaten senseless."
Locsin also said, "The parents of the bullied kid should take the law in their own hands. The only way to teach a bully is to beat him senseless. Pychiatric help? He should get traction."
Locsin, an alumnus of Ateneo, made these remarks after videos of an AJHS student bullying peers on campus went viral online. The school is investigating the incident.
'Do not bully the bully'
While Locsin pushed for beating the bully, at least 3 senators pushed for a more tempered response even as they condemned bullying.
In a statement, Senator Nancy Binay denounced "the vicious cycle of bullying." She said, "Bullying does not end by bullying the bully. It only worsens the culture of hate."
"Bullying will continue to grow if we behave like bullies. Shaming the bully is not the solution. Let's strive to heal even the tormentors and work for a bully-free society," Binay said.
Senator JV Ejercito said that the bully's parents most likely "either tolerated the attitude" of their child, "or simply failed to inculcate correct values and behavior." He said, "The kid needs psychiatric help given the numerous times he has been involved in bullying other kids."
Senator Francis Pangilinan said, "We are angry with a bully and rightfully so yet in our anger we bully him on Facebook? If so, then we are no different from the bully we despise and reject."
He added, "The bully must account for his acts definitely but we should never, never become the monster we seek to slay."
Ateneo de Manila University president Father Jose Ramon Villarin said in a statement Thursday, December 20, that the school is "not treating this matter lightly."
"As we go through this process and move towards a disciplinary decision, I request you to be mindful of consequences spiraling out of control when specific videos and comments are shared on social media. Again, I assure you we are treating the matter with the highest priority and urgency," said Villarin. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.