Student dismissal case


On November 10, 2004, Judge Wenceslao Ibabao of the Regional Trial Court dismissed the case against 48 students and granted the students’ motion to discontinue the proceedings after getting assurance from the school administration that they can continue with their studies. The students were ordered dismissed by school management October 4, 2004 for holding a protest rally in front of the school.

The students were dismissed from the school by area director Fortunato Enghog Jr., school director Ernesto Raphael Robillo and the school’s disciplinary board after they held a protest rally in front of the school campus without the necessary permit. They said that the dismissal of the students was based on a resolution dated October 9 issued by Student Disciplinary Tribunal, which states that holding of rallies or any related activities without the necessary permit from an authorized school officer is a major offense that merits dismissal as provided for in the student handbook.

The students filed a 13-page civil suit with damages against the school for illegally dismissing them without factual basis. They also claimed their dismissal was null and void and violates their freedom of expression as enshrined in the 1997 Philippine Constitution. They said they held the rally to show support for the preventive suspension of several regular teachers, the implementation of the webcast teaching system and other unresolved issues regarding miscellaneous fees.

Ibabao issued a 20-day temporary restraining order (TRO) dated October 21 against the dismissal of the 48 students in order for them to protect their right to education and freedom of speech. Ibabao then issued an order to police authorities to accompany the dismissed students in going back to school. [21]


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