MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday condemned the barbaric murder of a Grade 9 student in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu City and urged authorities to hasten the perpetrators’ arrest.
The victim, a 16-year-old student of Maribago High School, was found dead on a vacant lot on Monday after serving as a tithe collector for church on Sunday.
According to police reports, the victim was raped, murdered before being skinned to the skull.
In a statement, DepEd said its Schools Division Office of Lapu-Lapu City already issued a memorandum reminding all public and private elementary and secondary schools to strengthen their existing rules and policies on school safety.
It included security measures such as: restricting practices for school presentations and other school-related activities until 5 p.m. only; instructing school heads to advise learners to bring packed lunch or snacks instead of buying food outside school premises; ensuring that fully functional CCTV cameras are installed in strategic areas; requesting additional presence of police or barangay tanod (village watchmen) in the area; and advising students to always go in groups when out on the streets, especially when it is already dark.
“As the Department calls on the local government unit and the police to swiftly bring to justice the cold-blooded criminals, it likewise enjoins the public in the shared responsibility of protecting children from all forms of abuse, violence, exploitation, and threat,” the statement read.
The DepEd expressed its deepest condolences to the grieving family and requested its community for “voluntary contribution to provide the bereaved with adequate financial assistance”.