MANILA - The teacher from Occidental Mindoro who cited actress Angel Locsin as an "obese person" in a derided exam item committed abuse of authority with the body-shaming content, Sen. Pia Cayetano said Thursday.
At the Senate deliberations for the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Education (DepEd), Sen. Grace Poe asked how a question calling one artist obese for eating at a fast food chain was allowed to be put out.
"Ewan ko kung may malisya 'yon o baka walang malisya, pero sa karaniwang tao, hindi naman pwede iyon. Paano nakalusot 'yong ganoon?"
Poe did not identify Locsin by name.
Cayetano, who sat as sponsor for the education department's budget, relayed its response that the teacher created the exam on his own and had the leeway to decide on questions to ask.
However, she added her personal take that the choice of content in the material was made wrongly.
"In that case, may liberty siya to create that exam, and obviously we all don't agree with that example. If you asked me, abuse of authority na iyon, that was very wrong discretion in the way the example or question--it was done the wrong way," Cayetano said.
DepEd officials told Cayetano the teacher is now undergoing an administrative investigation.
The ABS-CBN actress had earlier called out DepEd for seeming "unaffected" that a teacher was passing on "bad conduct" to students.
The agency later apologized to her.
Poe also reminded DepEd of the need to promote sensitivity, since this could be done to ordinary people aside from celebrities.
"Kaya lang yan napansin kasi sikat ang artistang nabanggit. Pero pwede kasing gumawa ng example na kunwari...ang ating estudyante ay obese o pandak," Poe said.
The department, through Cayetano, said this is incorporated in its teachers' training.
An education official interviewed by ANC earlier on Thursday said the teacher behind the controversial exam material could face sanction.
Usec. Diosdado Antonio added that despite the DepEd's own call for sensitivity, some teachers have been inattentive to the instruction.