“The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines condemn Mr. Raffy Tulfo’s harassment and bullying of public school teacher Melita Limjuco during a segment of Raffy Tulfo in Action, which aired last November 21,” said ACT in a statement today.
ACT addressed the ‘Tulfo justice’ served to Limjuco.
“The trial by publicity launched against Ms. Limjuco was unfair, malicious, and injudicious. It denied her of her right to due process and caused her injustice—something that Mr. Tulfo has notoriously done in his show by acting as judge in all sorts of disputes despite his lack of knowledge and training on the matters at hand, then delivering ‘Tulfo justice’ based only on his whims,” said ACT.
ACT demanded that Tulfo be administratively and legally held to account for his actions.
ACT also said that mechanism of handing complaints of child abuse in schools is also not without faults.
“Abuse and discipline are so vaguely delineated that it leaves all concerned parties vulnerable to mishandling at best, injustice at worst. Such creates friction instead of unity between parents and teachers who share in having the child’s best interest in mind,” said ACT.
The group also said that the task to discipline students should not be shouldered by the teachers alone, but must also be carried by the institution.
“At present, teachers’ only official reference is the Department of Education’s PDET or Positive Discipline in Everyday Teaching, which is good in theory but the realities in school make it difficult for teachers to put this into practice,” shared ACT.
The public classroom ratio of one teacher to 60 students and other tasks shouldered by teachers also present challenges in the day-to-day classroom handling.
ACT recommends the following institutional and governmental support to be provided for teachers’ performance of their role in student discipline and classroom management, concretely:
- Reduce regular class size to no more than 35 so that teachers can effectively teach academics and instill proper values to students;
- Hire full time guidance counsellor at the schools level, following the recommended ratio of one per 200 students in public elementary and high schools;
- Come up with a positive discipline handbook that is relevant and appropriate in the current public school setting, and will go through a consultative process with teachers; and
- Pass House Bill 220 or the Teacher Protection Act.
ACT will also lead teachers and principals in a protest today at the Liwasang Bonifacio to demand justice for Limjuco.
Tulfo response to backlash
On November 22, Tulfo addressed the backlash he received for bullying the teacher.
“I am going to listen to the netizens, kasi nga naman kung wala yung mga netizens eh wala din tayong show, so having said that I guess, ang gagawin ko nalang ay etong si teacher at itong parent ng bata ay pagbabatiin ko nalang,” Tulfo said.
[I am going to listen to the netizens, because without the netizens, we have no show, so having said that I guess, I will make the teacher and parent reconcile.]
“May point nga naman sila na very harsh yung desisyon na pag-resignin yung teacher, although si teacher, she really admitted na meron siyang pagkakasala doon, kung tutuusin child abuse nga iyon dahil pinahiya niya yung bata…si lola gusto makulong, pero ang desisyon ko sa ganoon pagbabatiin ko sila…,” he added.
[They have a point that the decision to have the teacher resign her post is very harsh, although the teacher admitted she has a fault in the matter at hand, that is child abuse if you reckon it, because she humiliated the child…the grandmother wanted the teacher to go to jail, but my decision in those cases is to have them reconcile…]
He said he agrees that the teacher should not be removed from her job, but should still be sanctioned. He also recounted how he found the child to have no fault, the teacher should have been the one to adjust to the situation and how he will recommend the sanctions, but not recommend the revocation of her license and try to make the two parties reconcile.
“Kung ano pong tamang proseso doon na lang po ako, pero kung anong naging impact sa sa aming pamilya hindi na po natin maaalis iyon,” said Edroso.
[Whatever is the right process, I will go with that. But the impact on my family, we can no longer erase.]
Tulfo gave advice to Edroso about the cyberbullying her family received. He shared he did not read bashers and unless the comments are profane, he will not block them.
He also shared that he was being tagged before to serve justice to cases, now the situation is reversed.
“Yung naging desisyon ko para bigyan kayo ng hustisya, hindi yata naayon sa naging kasalanan ng teacher. I think win-win solution, ‘wag na natin patanggalan ng lisensya, ‘wag na natin idemanda,” Tulfo said.
[My decision to serve you justice was not apt to the transgression of the teacher. I think, win-win solution, let’s not have her license revoked, let’s not file cases against her in court.]
Tulfo said the teacher has apologized, and that he has invited the teacher to his TV network, TV5, next week and he will invite Edroso’s family to have them reconcile.