By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ILOILO City Mayor Jerry Treñas was not happy with the viral photos of the three males clothed only in bath towels who bought meals from a fast-food chain last September 21, 2019.
As a result, Treñas directed Task Force on Moral and Values Formation (TVMVF) head Nestor Canong to investigate the incident which was reportedly part of the students’ social experiment.
On Thursday, the mayor sent a letter to the Western Institute of Technology (WIT) addressed to its president Engr. Richard Salas and the principal of their Senior High School Department, Jo Anne Badrina; and the operations manager of McDonald’s in SM City, Delmar Lozano, to explain the incident.
In his letter, Treñas described the incident as “disturbing” and alarming following the reports that the males were senior high school students of WIT.
“The incident has drawn the attention and generated negative reactions from the customers inside the fast food restaurants, shoppers of the mall, and in particular, the many residents of Iloilo City. In view thereof, I am sending Mr. Canong the chairman of TVMVF to discuss with you to shed light on the matter,” the mayor said.
The mayor also requested for CCTV footages and video clips of the incident that was recorded by the establishment as well us results of the in-house investigation conducted by WIT and the fast food chain.
In a follow-up interview on Thursday, Treñas expressed his frustration on the incident.
He emphasized that such incident only embarrassed the students involved, hence it should not be tolerated.
“Indi lang ko gusto nga may amo ni nga gakatabo sa aton. Ginapakahuy-an mo sila (ang mga students). If you want to do a social experiment, I think the professors should do it first to show nga kaya man nila ang social experiment. If they want, I will ask them to do the social experiment here in city hall, in my office,” the mayor said. We don’t want to have incident like this again,” he stressed.
Based on initial information, Canong said that the incident was part of the students’ social experiment on deviant behavior.
“The students want to generate reaction sang mga customers didto kag mga pumuluyo sa siyudad pero nakita man naton ang reaction laban buyayaw sa SM kag buyayaw sa kabataan,” he said.
Canong emphasized that the experiment was problematic as the students were minors and were exposed to ridicule by the public.
“Ang problema didto kay ang kabataan, menor de edad were exposed to uncompromising situation, and ridicule sang mga nagsulod sa SM, (McDonald’s) and the entire population. Naigo nga kabataan, tam-an ka law-ay lantawon,” he said.
Canong said they have yet to verify other information but as of now, he said that they are looking at ordinances and laws concerning minors which the school or the establishment might have violated.