A 12 year-old son of a policeman died after he accidentally shot himself with his father’s service firearm inside a comfort room of a school in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.
Based on the initial police investigation, at around 5:40 a.m., the Grade 6 pupil brought to Benito Nieto Elementary School, the Beretta pistol service firearm of his father and played with it inside the comfort room when he accidentally fired it, hitting his chin and the bullet exited his nose portion.
He was rushed at Kairos Hospital and later on transferred at Skyline Hospital.
Police Colonel Ronaldo Lumactod, San Jose del Monte police chief, confirmed to the BusinessMirror that at 1:01 p.m., the boy was declared dead.
Mental health issue
Department of Education (DepEd) spokesperson Atty. Michael Tan Poa, when asked to comment on the incidents of violence in schools said, “We can see from the circumstances surrounding such incidents that they are related to mental health issues.”
It may be noted that last Friday, a Grade 7 student from a Quezon City high school was stabbed dead by his 15-year-old schoolmate.
“The Department commits to seek out mental health experts and advocates to be able to formulate and implement effective programs to address such issues at the school level,” Poa said.
However, Lumactod contradicted the statement of Poa that the boy had mental health issue.
“Mali ang premise ng school o ng DepEd na may mental issue ang bata…,” he said in an interview over the phone.
The boy, he said, is just curious about firearm because he loves to play the computer game Counter Strike.
“Nakikita niya kasi naglalaro siya kaya siguro na curious siya pinaglaruan niya ’yung baril,” he added.
Later, Poa clarified, “As a response to violence related to mental health concerns, the DepEd will seek experts to strengthen our mental health programs at the school level.”
Meanwhile, students and teaching and non-teaching personnel were evacuated to safer ground on Thursday as classes were temporarily halted at the Ponciano Bernardo High School in Kaunlaran, Cubao, Quezon City after a bomb threat sent through social media.
The Quezon City Police Station 7 said they received the report at past 9 a.m. from school authorities that got the initial information through one of the teachers who read about the bomb threat from the school’s Facebook page.
Members of the police explosives and ordinance division immediately responded to the school.
Last week, two similar incidents were also reported last week, at the New Era Elementary School in Culiat and at the San Francisco High School in Bago Bantay.
The responding police officers found no explosives in the said schools.
In response to incidents related to security concerns, Poa said they will be coordinating with their counterparts in the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“The Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte has instructed our Field Operations to issue a directive for all Regional Offices and Schools Division Offices to coordinate with their PNP counterparts in the Region, Cities and Municipalities in identifying schools, which require spot inspections of weapons among personnel and learners, and subsequently, a report on the actions taken,” he said.