DepEd probes teacher who allegedly molested Palaro athlete

Raymon Dullana
Family of the 14-year-old dance sport athlete vows to file charges



ILOCOS SUR, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) said it has ordered the investigation of the Cebu City teacher who allegedly molested a 14-year-old athlete  in the Palarong Pambansa 2018 in this province. 

In a statement on Friday, April 20, Secretary Leonor Briones said sexual predators and violators of children’s rights are not welcome in the DepEd.

Briones’ statement came after Rodymar Lelis, a special education teacher of Zapatera Elementary School, was arrested by police in Caoayan town in Ilocos Sur after a 14-year-old dance sport athlete complained of being “sexually-harassed” by Lelis. 

Lelis had been subjected to inquest in a Vigan City court as police said the family of the victim intends to file charges.

“Behaviors that endanger the physical and mental well-being of our learners are not tolerated in the Department,” Briones said.

Briones said children must feel secure inside the schools and learning environments.

She added that teachers, school administrators, and personnel should lead the protection of young students from abuse, neglect, exploitation, violence and discrimination.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña said he will take “decisive” action against the suspect, and urged DepEd to fire the perpetrator “immediately.”