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Allegations of Bribery in DepEd Investigated

Allegations of Bribery in DepEd Investigated

In Palawan, a teacher’s claim of bribery has sparked an investigation and raised concerns among educators and officials. Rhodora Mondragon Aboratigue, a dedicated teacher at Bato-Bato National High School in Taytay, has come forward with a distressing story. She alleges that to transfer to another school in Dumaran, she was asked for a ₱30,000 “gift” by Jester Llonado, a Gender and Development coordinator at the Schools Division Office in Palawan.

This request goes against the principles of fairness and transparency in the education system, as teachers are entitled to request transfers without financial burdens.

A Teacher’s Stand Against Corruption

Aboratigue, shaken but firm in her stance, refuses to accept this demand as just. She expressed her dismay and fear, highlighting a blatant disregard for ethical standards within the Department of Education (DepEd). Despite feeling vulnerable, she’s determined to fight for what’s right, hoping to bring this issue to the attention of higher authorities, including Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte.

In an effort to shed light on this issue, she borrowed money to fulfill the initial demand, only to discover that the payment went directly to Llonado’s personal account. This revelation added to her distress, prompting her to seek justice and protection.

DepEd’s Response and Actions

The Department of Education’s Mimaropa office, under the leadership of Cherrylou Repia and with legal oversight from Atty. Joanna Rose Labuguen, has taken the allegations seriously. They assured the public and the education community that an investigation is underway, emphasizing that no fees should be charged for teacher transfers. The case is being handled with strict confidentiality and adherence to due process, reflecting DepEd’s commitment to integrity and accountability.

While the investigation is in progress, DepEd Mimaropa aims to continue its educational mission without disruption. The department underscores the importance of maintaining a supportive environment for teachers and students alike, stressing that the welfare of its educators is paramount.

Looking Forward

As the community awaits the outcome of this investigation, the focus remains on safeguarding the rights and safety of educators while fostering a culture of transparency and fairness in the education system. The incident has sparked a broader discussion on the need for systemic improvements, such as automating administrative processes, to prevent similar issues in the future.

This case serves as a reminder of the challenges facing the education sector and the collective responsibility to address them head-on, ensuring that teachers can perform their duties without fear of exploitation or retaliation.