Ateneo bully 1 year short of criminal liability – police

MANILA, Philippines – The parents of the Ateneo de Manila Junior High School (AJHS) student seen bullied violently in a viral video turned to cops for help.

According to Police Officer I Rowena Darline Felizario, the cop in charge of the Women and Children Protection Desk of the Anonas Police Station, the parents and the assaulted child went to their station at around 7 pm on Thursday, December 20, to file a police report.

"Pina-record po nila 'yung incident (They asked us to record the incident)," Felizario told Rappler in a phone interview on Friday, December 21.

She lamented, however, that cops can only go as far as recording what happened.

Citing the report of the bullied child's parents, Felizario said the bully is 14 years old – one year short of criminal liability. (READ: Lower age of criminal liability? Here's why psychologists are against it)

"Fourteen po 'yung parehong bata, kaya hindi po puwede kasuhan (Both kids are 14 years old, so we cannot file a case)," Felizario said.

"Civil liability lang po meron, parang gano'n po, pagpapaareglo (They can seek civil liability, they can reach a settlement)," she added.

Felizario further explained that the victim's family can demand that the bully's family pay for the hospital bills of their injured son, or seek damages, but they cannot sue the bully for physical assault.

According to Felizario, the best route for the family now is to take the case to the school. Ateneo has vowed to probe the incident thoroughly amid public outrage over the case.

In a statement late Friday night, Ateneo de Manila University president Fr Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, said the AJHS Committee on Discipline has met with the parties involved. Villarin said they will decide on the case "soonest." –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.