Duterte gives DepEd office deadline to finish probe of student’s death | Inquirer News

Duterte gives DepEd office deadline to finish probe of student’s death

/ 05:40 AM October 09, 2023

VEEP’S VISIT| Vice President Sara Duterte, who also head the DepEd, , condoles with Gumikib’s parents.

VEEP’S VISIT| Vice President Sara Duterte, who also head the DepEd, , condoles with Gumikib’s parents. (Photo from the Facebook page of Duterte)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has given its Calabarzon regional office until Oct. 9 to complete its fact-finding investigation into the case of a 14-year-old student in Antipolo City who died after allegedly being slapped by his teacher.

The office was also ordered, upon completing its probe, to “issue formal charges with temporary suspension” against those behind his death.


Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said in a statement that she gave the order after she visited on Sunday the wake of Francis Jay Gumikib, a Grade 5 student of Peñafrancia Elementary School.


The DepEd regional office started its investigation on Oct. 3, a day after he died in the hospital.

Duterte added that she had discussed with the boy’s parents a “possible case of child abuse due to the slapping.”

Depending on the evidence and autopsy results, DepEd would also help them file criminal charges against the authorities concerned, she said.

The teacher accused of slapping Gumikib had gone on personal leave since the incident.

DepEd Assistant Secretary Francis Cesar Bringas clarified that she could not be placed under preventive suspension just yet because there was no case filed against her.

If found guilty of grave misconduct, the teacher could be dismissed from the service, he said.


Determined to sue

According to Duterte, DepEd would also provide psychological first aid to Gumikib’s family. For his siblings who were traumatized by the incident and were having difficulty attending in-person classes, DepEd was considering placing them in blended learning classes to ensure learning continuity.

Gumikib was brought to the hospital by his mother, Elena Minggoy, on Sept. 26 for dizziness, “intolerable pain” in the head, blurring of vision, and vomiting. He earlier told her that his teacher pulled his collar and hair, before hitting him on the left ear on Sept. 21 after he complained about his noisy classmates.

While hospitalized, he lapsed into a coma and died on Oct. 2.

His body was autopsied the next day at Camp Crame with the results expected to be released after being “peer-reviewed.”

Gumikib’s mother earlier told the police that regardless of the results, the family was determined to sue his teacher.

Antipolo City police officer in charge Lt. Col. Ryan Manongdo, however, said they would rather wait for the autopsy findings to ensure an airtight case.

Based on the death certificate issued by the hospital, Gumikib’s immediate cause of death was global brain edema or brain swelling, while the antecedent cause was acute hemorrhage in the brain.

The hospital noted other “significant conditions” that contributed to his demise, including presumptive pulmonary tuberculosis and child physical abuse.

Missing details

For forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun, the certificate was “vague” because the underlying cause of death was left blank.

“The implication here is that they said [the brain] swelled because of the hemorrhage, but it does not explain where it came from [and] how it came about,” she said in an earlier interview with CNN.

The “manner of death” was also left blank, she noted, implying that it was due to natural or disease-related causes.

Fortun also analyzed the clinical abstract given by the hospital which indicated that Gumikib sought treatment only on Sept. 26, or five days after he was allegedly slapped.

“And what’s written there, they went to the hospital and he was admitted because of a severe headache. Nothing about Sept. 21 to the time that he got admitted,” she said.

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Gumikib’s Glasgow Coma Scale, which evaluates the responsiveness of the patient, was also “already bad” when he was brought to the hospital, Fortun added. “If the normal is 15, it says he was 7 to 8 and then it progressively deteriorated.”

TAGS: Department of Education, Francis Jay Gumikib, Sara Duterte, student death

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