MANILA, Philippines—Education Secretary Armin Luistro ordered an investigation into Monday’s shooting at the Pangasinan National High School (PNHS), which resulted in the deaths of two teachers and injuries to four others.
Luistro condemned the attack saying in a statement issued on Tuesday, “We maintain that schools are zones of peace where the safety and well-being of students, teachers, and personnel are of utmost importance.”
He said that following the suspension of classes at the public high school in Lingayen town, Department of Education (DepEd) field offices would work closely with other agencies to deal with the situation.
Luistro said, “We commit to foster a sense of normalcy by providing the necessary psychological interventions to the community of PNHS. We enjoin local authorities to persevere in ensuring that justice prevails.”
He further said, “The Department of Education offers its sincere condolences to families who lost their loved ones following (Monday)’s shooting incident at Pangasinan National High School. We are one with them in this time of bereavement and are deeply saddened as we count, among those killed, our very own teachers and members of the DepEd family.”
DepEd assistant secretary for legal affairs Tonisio Umali told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the secretary immediately ordered a probe into the campus attack to determine what triggered the crime. “We will formulate measures, including security, that may be taken to prevent it from happening again,” he said.
“We are looking into specific actions that the DepEd may take to protect our teachers and into what help we may extend to the PNHS community,” Umali said.
On Monday, PNHS teachers Florenda Flores and Asidelo Sison were killed along with collector Jonalito Urayon while four others were wounded when local policeman PO2 Domino Alipio went on a shooting spree inside the school compound in Alvear Street, Barangay Maniboc in Lingayen town.
Initially police investigators said that Alipio went berserk and shot people after he was denied entry to the school where he allegedly wanted to collect loan payments from the teachers.