Palace urges probe on Ateneo bullying incident, determine bully's 'trigger'

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2018 02:05 PM | Updated as of Dec 21 2018 02:08 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Friday expressed concern about the bullying incident at the Ateneo de Manila University Junior High School.

A video of the incident showing a student challenging his schoolmate to a fight in a comfort room has been making the rounds online, triggering discussions on how school authorities and parents should deal with and prevent bullying incidents.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there must be an investigation into the incident, which apparently involves a young taekwondo practitioner.

“I watched that. I was bothered by what I saw. I think they should investigate why there was such a one-sided fight given the fact that the one who mauled was much smaller,” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.

“Sabi ko nga, baka may nag-trigger, kasi parang sinasabi nila na the bata should undergo psychiatric exam. Dapat talaga imbestigahan. The school should investigate and do something about it.”

Ateneo de Manila University President Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin has said an investigation is ongoing and the school administration is treating the incident "with the highest priority and urgency."

In a separate statement, Ateneo said the video "depicts an evident act of violence that constitutes a serious violation of disciplinary misconduct."