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September 14, 2015

Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea


President
Malayan High School of Science
8013 Paz Mendoza Guazon, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila

Dear Dr. Vea,


I am writing this letter to formally appeal the decision handed down against my
daughter, Leslie Genevieve Ong, for an alleged cheating incident in Ms. Gins
Class that happened September 2, 2015 for the following reasons:
1.) Violation of the procedural due process of my daughter.
2.) Violation of the student handbook by the Mr. Earl Carlo Cruz.
I would like to first discuss the first ground that I have raised in this appeal.
VIOLATION OF THE PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS OF MY DAUGHTER
The Supreme Court in De La Salle University Inc., et al. v. The Court of Appeals,
et al. (GR. No 127980) ruled that investigations of students found violating
school discipline falls under administrative cases.
Likewise, in the same case above, the Court stated that in administrative cases,
such as investigations of students found violating school discipline, there are
minimum standards which must be met before to satisfy the demands of
procedural due process and these are:
(1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any
accusation against them;
(2) they shall have the right to answer the charges against them and with the
assistance if counsel, if desired;
(3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them;
(4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and

(5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or


official designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the case.

Sadly, No. 1,3,4,5 of these minimum standards set forth by the Supreme Court
were not followed by the school.
In requisite no. 1- My daughter was only informed orally of the allegations of
cheating she allegedly committed.
In requisite no. 3 My daughter was not informed of any evidences against her
that would prove that she indeed cheated on the said exam
In requisite no. 4- My daughter was not allowed to adduce evidence to prove
that she is not guilty on the charge against her.
The factual circumstances on the alleged cheating incident were not even
appreciated by Mr. Cruz.
According to my daughter, a certain, __________________, who was already 17
years old and has moral ascendancy over her because she was only 15 years
old, was the one who induced and forced her to hand him the supposed
reviewer. During the said exam, Mr.X consistently annoyed, demanded, and
bugged my daughter to give him the reviewer because he does not know the
answer in the said exam and that he needed the reviewer in order for him to
pass the test.
Since my daughter was very busy analyzing the said English exam and to stop
Mr. X from constantly distracting her, she inadvertently, without any intent to
cheat, got the reviewer on the chair and put it in her lap in order to give the
said reviewer to Mr. X.
When the reviewer was on her lap, that is when Ms. Gin saw it, Ms. Gin then
looked
at
the
reviewer
and
returned
it
to
my
daughter.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Since my daughter felt bad about Ms. Gin seeing the reviewer, she opted not to
submit the test paper in order to show to Ms. Gin that she did not intend to
use that reviewer to gain advantage over the said exam.

That was possible because the said exam was a RETEST due to the fact that a
lot of student had failed the earlier exam. Only 4 students passed the first
exam, and my daughter is one of those who passed it. The retest was meant as
a chance for students to try to score a higher grade, if they succeed in getting a
higher grade in the retest , then the grade on the first exam will be deemed
cancelled. If not, then what is higher between the first exam and retest will be
recorded. Since my daughter did not submit the retest, her passing grade on
the first exam was recorded.
I would like to repeat again that my daughter has NO INTENTION TO CHEAT at
that time, she innocently and inadvertently got the reviewer from the chair due
to the constant bugging of Mr.X . In fact, Mr. X, has admitted that it was him
who is guilty in this said case. A copy of this admission is hereby attached as
ANNEX A.
To state for the record, my daughter does not need to cheat in the retest, she
was one of four persons who passed the first exam. My daughter is innocent on
this alleged cheating incident, she did not cheat but was only mistakenly
blamed for cheating. More importantly, Ms. Gin who had personal and firsthand knowledge on this incident has likewise impliedly agreed with my
observation that my daughter did not cheat because otherwise Ms. Gin would
have immediately sent my daughter to the discipline office for proper
disciplinary sanctions. The personal observation of Ms. Gin should be
respected.
Since my daughters was not allowed to adduce her evidence, requisite no.5
was not complied with.

Now, on the second ground of my appeal, I would like to state that the
procedure done by Mr. Cruz was contrary to what the MHSS handbook states.
Likewise the penalty on the question decision imposed by Mr. Cruz is also
contrary to the MHSS handbook being devoid of legal basis.
Page 40-41, of the handbook provides the PROPER PROCEDURE for settlement
of all disciplinary cases it provides that the following steps must be taken in
order to effect a valid disciplinary action. This procedures are mandated by the
handbook in order to provide students with procedural due process. The steps
are:

In major offenses:
Incident report Case Conference Elevation to Student Welfare Committee
Student Welfare Committee Evaluation of the Case Principals Action
Since my daughter was alleged to have committed a major offense the above
steps should have been taken by Mr. Cruz but sadly these were ignored.
According to my daughter on September 10, 2015, she was called to the
________________, and there present was Mr. Cruz, Ms. Alba, and Ms. Gin. My
daughter was asked questions regarding the said incident and immediately
after that ___________________________. She was also not provided with a copy of
an incident report. After that, no further proceedings were conducted, the next
day a decision was already promulgated.
The question that bothers me the most is what kind of proceeding happened?
Is it a case conference? Is it an elevation of the case to the student welfare
committee? The proceeding taken against my daughter was UNCLEAR and
AMBIGUOUS. Likewise since this is a major offense, the parents should have
been INFORMED OR NOTIFIED. But sadly, I was not informed nor notified by
the school regarding the proceedings taken against my daughter. Clearly, this is
against page 41 of the handbook. The handbook was made so that proper
procedures should be followed in order to protect students from unjust and
unfair decisions.
Moreover, I would like to quote on of the penalties imposed by Mr. Cruz against
my daughter, it states: Moreover, she will no longer be qualified to receive
honors and awards for the entire school year (S.Y. 2015-2016).
Assuming without admitting that my daughter is guilty thereof, the quoted
penalty above is without legal nor factual basis at all. It is not provided in the
handbook as one of the imposable penalties against major offenses.
Pages 27-36 of the handbook provides the form of sanctions. The following are
the forms of sanctions:
1.) oral reprimand
2.) school service
3.) suspension
4.) exclusion
5.) expulsion

Nowhere in the handbook does the penalty for ineligibility for honors and
awards are mentioned as a form of sanctions, hence I would like to reiterate
that the same is without legal basis at all.
THEREFORE, since Mr. Cruz failed to follow the proper steps in handling a
discipline complaint, I pray that the assailed decision promulgated on
Septmeber 11, 2015 be REVERSED and SET ASIDE for violating the
procedural due process of my daughter and for non-compliance with the proper
procedures stated in the MHSS Student Handbook.

Sincerely,
______________________