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Ateneo de Manila University v. Judge Ignacio Capulong [G.R. No.

99327 May 27, 1993]


22 SCRA 644 Political Law Constitutional Law Academic Freedom
Power of School to Dismiss Erring Students

FACTS: On February 8, 9, and 10 of 1991, a fraternity in Ateneo Law


School named Aquila Legis conducted its initiation rites upon neophytes.
Unfortunately, one neophyte died as a result thereof and one was
hospitalized due to serious physical injuries. In a resolution dated March 9,
1991, the Disciplinary Board formed by Ateneo found seven students
guilty of violating Rule 3 of the Rules on Discipline. Fr. Joaquin Bernas,
then president of Ateneo, on the basis of the findings, ordered the
expulsion of the seven students. However, on May 17, 1991, Judge
Ignacio Capulong of the Makati RTC, upon the students petition for
certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus, ordered Ateneo to reverse its
decision and reinstate the said students.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Ateneo Law School has competence to issue
an order dismissing such students pursuant to its rules.

HELD: Yes, Ateneo has the competence and the power to dismiss its
erring students and therefore it had validly exercised such power. The
students do not deserve to claim such a venerable institution such as
Ateneo as their own a minute longer for they may forseeably cast a
malevolent influence on students currently enrolled as well as those who
come after them. This is academic freedom on the part of the school
which includes:

a. freedom to determine who may teach;

b. freedom to determine what may be taught;

c. freedom to determine how it shall be taught;

d. freedom to determine who may be admitted to study.