TRIXIE Madamba, the mother of a British School Manila (BSM) student who committed suicide after allegedly being bullied by a teacher, expressed dismay over the resolution of the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissing the complaint filed against the school officials for violation of PD 1829 or obstruction of justice.
On October 5, 2015, Mrs. Madamba filed a criminal complaint for obstruction of justice against BSM board of governors headed by Simon Mann, and its council of trustees.
She claimed that the school administration did not put Natalie Mann, an English teacher who allegedly caused Liam Madamba to commit suicide, under preventive suspension and was even allowed to leave the country before the investigation started.
On July 8, 2016, Liam’s parents received a resolution dismissing the criminal complaint for lack of probable cause. They said the resolution dated June 16 may be part of the so-called midnight resolutions.
Madamba, who filed a motion for reconsideration on July 18, questioned the timing of the dismissal of the complaint because the resolution was released without giving the new Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd the chance to look into the matter.
“Also notable is that the resolution was not signed by the former Secretary Emmanuel Caparas who was at the start so engrossed in the case as it is just one of the few cases that DOJ allowed to be filed directly to its office as an original action,” she said.
Caparas replaced former Secretary Leila de Lima.
On March 16, 2016, the case was submitted for resolution for failure of respondent David Gold, Bill Twedell, and Trevor Lewis to file their respective counter-affidavit. The case against the remaining respondents was submitted for resolution on April 4, 2016.
Mrs. Madamba said she was also surprised to find that even after the case has been submitted for resolution, the investigating prosecutor admitted, without her knowledge, the assertion of Lewis and Twedell’s diplomatic immunity.
“Since when does running a school in the Philippines by foreigners considered an official function covered by diplomatic immunity?” she asked.
“It was also perplexing that in the resolution, the Justice department seems to have avoided the arguments and issues relating to the testimony of the respondents during Senate inquiry. The investigating prosecutor did not find anything wrong or alarming in the manner by which the foreigners acted – whitewash of the real story and the convenient and hasty escape of the teacher responsible for the death of Liam,” she said.
Mrs. Madamba expressed optimism that they will find justice under the Duterte administration.
Liam, one of the top graduating students at BSM, allegedly jumped from the 6th floor of the Dela Rosa carpark building in Makati on February 6, 2015.
Liam and another classmate were scolded by Mann over a draft essay they submitted and were made to admit committing plagiarism.
NEIL A. ALCOBER