University kicks out student accused in viral physical abuse photos

One of the Philippines’ top institutions, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) has kicked out a student who allegedly physically abused his girlfriend, an issue that was made public last month after the woman shared her story on Twitter.

UST’s official student publication The Varsitarian announced in a Facebook post yesterday that the school has “excluded” alleged abuser Kyle Viray following another complaint of physical abuse against him.

He has also been “disqualified” from enrolling in the university.


BREAKING: College of Science student Kyle Viray has been "excluded" from the University after another complaint of…

Posted by The Varsitarian on Monday, August 13, 2018

The paper reported that Viray was found to have violated UST’s code of conduct and discipline again after Gil Nicole Morales, another student, alleged that he had hurt her on six occasions last year, which Viray denied.

Allegations of physical abuse against Viray were first made public last month when his ex-girlfriend Diane Arcena shared in a Twitter thread that her ex-boyfriend had beaten her several times, along with photos of her bruised body.

Arcena did not mention her ex-boyfriend’s name but netizens identified that it was Viray. He denied the allegations and said the bruises were from “rough sex.”

Apart from the physical abuse, netizens were also enraged that Viray’s only punishment was 250 hours of community service and not being allowed to join the graduation ceremony.

In a university resolution regarding the latest physical abuse case, the school said that it had provided Viray a “certain degree of leniency” in the first case because he was a graduating student. This was not the case this time as Viray has failed to complete his last term.

While some netizens are satisfied with UST’s decision to kick Viray out of school, others noted that the punishment should have been stronger.

Facebook user Ace Ace said that it was not enough.

While Ronnie Yatco mentioned that it was not “complete justice.”

Those found to have violated the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act may be imprisoned and will need to pay PHP100,000 (US$1,870.21) to PHP300,000 (PHP5,611.01) in damages. The offender will also be required to undergo counseling or psychiatric treatment.

Others also noted that there is a difference between “expulsion” and “exclusion.”

“Kindly check if he was really ‘Expelled’ or ‘Excluded’. Expulsion is different from Exclusion. Kindly verify. Thank you,” Facebook user Niño Tobias said.

The manual of regulations by the Commission on Higher Education defines expulsion and exclusion differently. Those expelled cannot be admitted to another private or public institution while those “excluded,” like Viray, can be.

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