Bully victim laid to rest; raps eyed on kids | Inquirer News

Bully victim laid to rest; raps eyed on kids

/ 09:23 AM March 06, 2012

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD  old Joshua Veloso was laid to rest yesterday morning amid the family’s uncertainty that justice would  be served for his death.

The family of Joshua was saddened by the police report that Joshua died of “accidental drowning” and not homicide as earlier reported.

The grade 1 pupil  was chased into the sea by youngsters as he was walking home from school  on  February 29 in barangay Buaya, Lapu-lapu City.


“We have consulted a lawyerj. He  said we may file a case against the parents of the children who bullied my son,” said Alma, Joshua’s mother in Cebuano.


She said they have a witness to attest that  Joshua died because he was pushed to the sea by young bullies .

Six boys known in the neighborhood as the “Sandugo” boys , all out-of-school youths,  ran after Joshua and his friend “Jun” (not his real name ) and threw coconut husks at them, according to early witness accounts.

Police investigators, however say otherwise.

PO2 Franklin Bulaquia said the two ll-year-old boys they first picked up for investigation never mentioned Joshua being pushed.

Instead, it was Jun, Joshua’s friend, that was pushed. Joshua stayed  a few meters away where the six other boys was bullying Jun.

Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, police city director said that based on their investigation, the cause of death was accidental drowning.


He, however, said this was not final  and may be  changed if new witnesses come forward to give a different account.

Aggravating the grief of Joshua’s family is the error in the  death certifcate that stated the manner of death as  “homicide” instead of “under investigation.”

Dr. Nestor Satur who did the autopsy on Joshua, according to Lawas, signed the certificate by mistake.

Lawas said the document will  be corrected. The Death Certificate  states the cause of death as  “asphyxia by drowning”.

Although  there are suspects in the death of Joshua, it may be hard to press criminal cases against the suspects who are minors.

Under RA 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2004, minors 15 years old and below years old are exempt from criminal liability.

But their parents or guardians can be held liable for civil damages.

House Bill 5496 or the Anti-Bullying Bill was  passed by the House of Representatives in January this year.

The proposed law seeks to provide students and their parents awareness of the impact of bullying and how it can be prevented or addressed.

Studies done by the United Nations Children Emergency Fund,  the Council for the Welfare of Children and Plan International showed that most students in the grade and high schools had experienced various forms of abuse from their peers or from their teachers.

It said that at least five of 10 children in grades 1-3, seven out of 10 in grades 4-6, and six out of 10 in high school had experienced some kind of violence in school.

Verbal abuse is said to be the most prevalent form of violence, and this includes being ridiculed and teased, shouted at and cursed, or spoken to with harsh words.

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The same study revealed that children’s peers, more than the adults, are the perpetrators of violence in schools.

TAGS: bullying, Crime, drowning

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