CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Department of Education (DepEd) strongly condemns the shooting of Zhydee Bitago Cabañelez, an elementary teacher at Dalit Elementary School (ES) in Valencia City, Bukidnon on October 15, 2019.
In a statement, DepEd has called on authorities to conduct an exhaustive investigation of the gruesome incident and expects results that will bring the perpetrators to justice.
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones also instructed DepEd-X and the Schools Division Office of Valencia City to submit complete incident reports and obtain investigation reports from the authorities.
Four (4) unidentified gunmen onboard motorcycles went inside the victim’s classroom and shot the victim and her husband, Mr. Ramil Cabañelez, also a teacher in the same school. The husband managed to escape while the victim sustained serious physical injuries.
Initial police reports forwarded by Valencia City Police Chief Zurki Serenas showed that the victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds but is now in stable condition at the hospital and will be provided with psychological first aid as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, DepEd said pupils, parents, and teachers in Dalit ES have already been stress debriefed a day after the shooting incident. The conduct of the 2nd Periodical Test scheduled on October 17 and 18, in the school was also postponed.
In a coordination meeting, Barangay and Sitio leaders committed to assign CVO and Purok leaders to serve as security officers during school hours. They will also accompany teachers in coming to school and going home at least until the Pulangi River.
Moreover, DepEd-X Regional Director Arturo Bayocot confirmed that DepEd Central and local offices have collected financial contributions to augment funds for the hospitalization of the victim.
DepEd sternly enjoins the community, local officials, and law enforcement agencies to work closely in ensuring the safety of schools, learners, and teachers. (DepEd)
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