Ateneo confirms Comelec exec’s threat but clarifies no gun was involved | Inquirer News

Ateneo confirms Comelec exec’s threat but clarifies no gun was involved

DAVAO CITY–The director of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Southern Mindanao allegedly threatened a faculty of the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU).

The Ateneo de Davao management on Thursday confirmed the incident, which took place on Tuesday, and had apparently stemmed from a bad grade given to a child of lawyer Remlane Tambuang.

However, Fr. Joel Tabora, AdDu president, said there was no gun involved in the incident that took place inside the campus, “(c)ontrary to the alleged “news” that a teacher was threatened by a parent with a gun.”


“(W)e categorically state that there was no gun immediately involved in this incident. Security footage has been reviewed and preliminary interviews have been conducted, all affirming that no weapon was actually used to threaten any university personnel,” Tabora wrote.


The teacher that Tambuang allegedly threatened was not identified.


However, a copy of the police report made by AdDU security personnel, which was furnished the Inquirer, indicated that after threatening the teacher, Tambuang – accompanied by his sister Walina, and a bodyguard – made further threats as he was going out of the School of Arts and Sciences office around 6:15 p.m.

The report said Tambuang protested when he saw about 10 security guards responding to the Code Black or “personal threat” he had reportedly committed against the unidentified teacher.

“What’s your problem here, why is it that there are so many guards?” he was quoted in the police report as saying.



Tambuang then allegedly said “I am not that criminal. Don’t you know that I am the director of Comelec? Do you want me not to give Dasia (a local security agency) any firearms exemption?”

Later, two school deans also reported hearing Tambuang make another threat.

“Don’t you know that we are a family of lawyers and we are also a family of killers?” he was quoted as saying in the police report.

In a statement read on his behalf by lawyer Allan Kadon, Tambuang denied threatening anybody.

“To make things clear, I would just like to say that I went to AdDU as a parent, who has a son, and not as a lawyer or a public official for that matter,” he said.

Tambuang said his son had told him he would not be able to graduate because of a failing mark.


He said he went to AdDU to clarify things up, especially so that his son had no failing grades in the first and second grading period.

He said the teacher who gave his son the failing mark would not face him.

Even then, Tambuang said he did not threaten anybody.

“I would like to reiterate there was no threat committed to anyone. It was a false media statement that blew out of proportion. Still with all honesty and sincerity, I apologize to anyone who may have been hurt because of this unfortunate incident, especially to my children. I never made any wrongdoing, I was there only to ensure and protect the interest of my son,” he said.

Tabora said the statements reportedly made by Tambuang were “reprehensible” and “were clearly intended to intimidate.”


“When a college student receives an unfavorable grade from his or her teacher, complaints from the student and/or the latter’s parents as well as requests for reconsideration of grades are inevitable. This scenario is all too common during this time of the year,” he said.

Tabora, however, said there were “existing procedures a student may wish to avail of in order that s/he can be heard before an appropriate body.”

“As a matter of policy, students are expected to present their side personally before said body, as it is part of the formative aspect of an Ateneo education to train them to be self-reliant and independent young adults. Parents who intervene on their child’s behalf (no matter how noble their intentions) are often reminded of this as their intervention may only detract from the objective of teaching a child how to stand on his/her own two feet,” he said.

But he said when a parent, accompanied by relatives and bodyguards, make threats, the school “takes (it) very seriously as they threaten the safety and security of its personnel.”

“All the more so when said parent is a public official who is expected to be an exemplar for the rest of society, and whose public office is not to be regarded as license to strong-arm teachers into doing what the public servant demands. Especially when said public official is also a member of the Philippine Bar where public displays of arrogant intimidation such as this one, rightfully deserve sanctions as they run contrary to their Lawyer’s Oath,” he said.

Tabora said AdDU would be “taking the necessary steps and coordinating with the appropriate officials to ensure that complaints will be filed against said public official and lawyer.”

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“Parental bullying based on public office or on one’s legal profession has no place at AdDU nor in any school, public or private, in the Philippines,” he added.

TAGS: Comelec, grade, Graduation, Joel Tabora, Student, teacher, Threats

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