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Antipolo Student’s Death Not Caused by Teacher’s Slap

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Manila, Philippines – An autopsy report from the Philippine National Police has revealed that the 14-year-old student in Antipolo City died of “natural causes” rather than due to his teacher’s slap. Despite this, the teacher is still facing a complaint related to the slapping incident, as announced by Antipolo police chief Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Manongdo on Thursday, October 12.

Manongdo, during an interview with DZBB, stated, “It is clear that the raising of his [teacher’s] hand toward the child was wrong, although that was not the actual cause based on our findings, but we will file a complaint against her for the slapping incident.”

The Antipolo police intends to file a complaint against the teacher for an alleged violation of Section 10 of Republic Act No. 7610, which pertains to the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act. This violation carries a maximum penalty of eight years imprisonment. While there isn’t a medical report to support the claim of physical injury or homicide, the authorities have obtained a statement regarding the slapping incident.

Currently, the teacher is under a 90-day preventive suspension while administrative proceedings take place. The Rizal forensic unit’s officer, Dr. Maria Anna Lissa dela Cruz, explained the autopsy results to the parents of the deceased student.

According to Manila Standard, Dr. Dela Cruz reported that the cause of death was brain inflammation and non-traumatic brain bleeding. However, the mother of the student, Elena Minggoy, expressed doubts about the autopsy report and was advised to seek a third-party autopsy report.

Minggoy’s son was slapped by his teacher on September 20 after he reported his noisy classmates at Peñafrancia Elementary School in Antipolo City. Subsequently, he complained of ear pain and dizziness but continued attending school until September 26 when he was rushed to the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, a government hospital. Tragically, the student fell into a coma and passed away on October 2, almost a week after being hospitalized.

Previously, forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun had cast doubt on the allegations that the student’s death resulted from the teacher’s slap.

Benjo Basas, the National Chairperson of the Teacher’s Dignity Coalition (TDC), commented on the latest findings, asserting that they “did not absolve our colleague of possible administrative and criminal liabilities.” Basas urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to protect teachers’ rights to due process and equal protection under the law.

He also emphasized the government’s role in ensuring a conducive learning and teaching environment, which includes providing an adequate number of teachers and classrooms, sufficient rest for teachers, an effective guidance and counseling program, and a balanced policy for student discipline.

Independent investigations into the boy’s death are currently being conducted by the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Education (DepEd).


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