DepEd probing gun-pointing incident inside Makati school

By Dharel Placido,

Posted at Sep 20 2012 06:09 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2012 07:20 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Education (DepEd) has launched its own investigation into the alleged gun-pointing incident inside the campus of Colegio San Agustin in Makati involving a parent and a student.

DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali said the ongoing DepEd investigation into the gun-pointing incident may be the reason why the exclusive school in Dasmariñas Village has yet to issue a statement.

"Ang pagkakatindi ko iyan po ay tinututukan na ng ating SDS (schools division superintendent) ng Makati. Kaya siguro iyan ang dahilan kung bakit hindi na kumikibo," Umali told radio dzMM anchor Korina Sanchez.

Umali was not able to give the possible actions that the DepEd might take after the investigation. However, he cited pertinent laws and DepEd orders on child abuse.

Sony Lopez-Gonzales, in an interview with Sanchez on Wednesday, accused a parent of one of the students of pointing a gun on the forehead of her grandson.

Gonzales said the gun-pointing incident on August 30 started after her grandson punched the other student.

She said her grandson only punched the student after reaching his limits due to the latter's alleged bullying. The grandson had accused the student of poking the sensitive parts of his body for weeks.

After learning of the brawl, the student's father allegedly rushed to the school with a bodyguard, uttered insulting words, and then pointed his gun at Gonzales' grandson.

The gun-pointing incident was allegedly witnessed by several faculty members, identified in a police report as Mrs. Alicante, Ms. Jenny, Father Masana, Mr. Ignacio, and Ms. Cadangan.

The police report also quoted the father as saying: "You shouldn't go to a school, you're crazy. You should be in a mental institution…Do you want to fight me?"

Gonzales lamented that the two students accused of bullying were not suspended despite the allegations. Her grandson, on the other hand, got suspended.

Umali, meanwhile, clarified that the incident is not entirely the concern of the DepEd since one of the parties involved is a parent.

"Sa Revised Penal Code, mayroon tayong Anti-Child Abuse Act, at may kasong kriminal iyan. May pananagutan po, at maaaring magsampa ang magulang ng reklamo at iniimbestigahan iyan ng pulis," he said.

"Sa parte ng DepEd, ang aming procedure dyan ay ang atin pong mga paaralan ay maryroong committee (child protection committee)… Wala tayong sakop sa mga magulang pero dahil may nangyari pong abuso sa ating mga paarlan, dapat 'yan ay ire-refer agad sa kapulisan."

Umali said it is a school's responsibility to prevent any lethal weapon from entering its campus.

The school administration has yet to respond to requests for interviews by dzMM. Sanchez also asked the father who allegedly pointed the gun to air his side by calling radio dzMM.

As of posting, he had not done so.