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DOJ directs probe on pupil’s death

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) of Antipolo City to coordinate with law enforcers in the investigation of the case of a 14-year-old boy who died days after he was allegedly slapped by his teacher.

The DOJ wanted a case build-up against the suspect to ensure that justice is served to the boy’s family.

“The autopsy to determine the cause of death of Francis Gumikib last Oct. 2 is ongoing and being conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) forensic laboratory,” the DOJ said in a statement.

“Nevertheless, the DOJ, through the Committee on the Special Protection of Children, has already directed the OCP of Antipolo City to coordinate with law enforcement agencies on the investigation and case build-up on any offenses that may have been committed in relation to the death of and/or abuse perpetuated against Francis Gumikib,” the statement.

The DOJ declared that it “condemns any act of violence and abuse perpetuated against our children.”

“Child abuse in any form is an abhorrent violation of children’s rights and a crime that should never be tolerated,” it said.

“Children, especially learners, deserve a safe and nurturing environment where they can grow, learn, and thrive without fear of abuse,” the DOJ added.

It reminded teachers and educators that “they hold a position of trust and responsibility in a child’s life, and any abuse of this trust is a betrayal of the highest order.”

The DOJ also said that “under the Department of Education Child Protection Policy, there is zero tolerance for any form of abuse and violence.”

“Corporal punishment is prohibited, and the practice thereof may subject the erring teacher/educator to administrative and criminal proceedings,” it warned.

Citing reports, the DOJ said that Gumikib, a Grade 5 student of the Penafrancia Elementary School in Antipolo City, was allegedly slapped by his teacher last Sept. 20.

The victim experienced severe headache, dizziness, earache, and vomiting after the slapping incident.

Gumikib was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 26, but his condition worsened and doctors found internal bleeding in the victim’s brain which eventually caused him to go into a coma before he died on Oct. 2, the report said.

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