DepEd suspends teacher who slapped Antipolo student | Inquirer News

DepEd suspends teacher who slapped Antipolo student

DepEd logo superimposed on a stock photo of an empty classroom.

MANILA, Philippines— The teacher accused of slapping a Grade 5 student in Antipolo City days before the boy died has been suspended for 90 days by the Department of Education (DepEd) pending the outcome of an investigation against her.

But the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) appealed to the public to refrain from making premature judgments against the teacher who, it said, was enduring “extreme stress and public humiliation.”


DepEd did not provide new details on the case, but based on information gathered by TDC, the department’s regional office in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) had found sufficient ground against the teacher for violations of the agency’s Child Protection Policy, as well as the child abuse law and the Family Code, among others.


On Sept. 26, Francis Jay Gumikib, 14, a student of Peñafrancia Elementary School, was taken to Amang Rodriguez Medical Center for dizziness, “intolerable pain” in the head, blurred vision, and vomiting.

According to his mother, Elena Minggoy, the boy told her that his teacher had pulled him by the collar and hair, and hit him on the right ear on Sept. 21, after he complained about his noisy classmates.

He lapsed into a coma in the hospital and died on Oct. 2.

On Monday, the Philippine National Police Forensic Group (PNP-FG) said it planned to release this week the result of the autopsy and histopathology, or the analysis of tissue sample, on Gumikib’s body.

PNP-FG’s Medico-Legal Division chief Hector Sorra said his office had also begun reviewing the student’s computerized tomography scan plates.

Airtight case

Although the procedures usually take seven to 30 days, Sorra said his officers were trying to expedite the process, “and hopefully, within the week, we can release the results.”


Gumikib’s body was brought to the PNP-FG at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Oct. 4, with the family and the Antipolo police requesting an autopsy on his remains before they could file a criminal complaint against the teacher to ensure an airtight case.

Over the weekend, Vice President Sara Duterte, who is also the education secretary, gave a DepEd fact-finding team until Monday to conclude its investigation into Gumikib’s death.

She said she ordered DepEd Calabarzon to “issue formal charges with temporary suspension” against those behind Gumikib’s death.

But TDC chair Benjo Basas asked for empathy for the teacher “who has been feeling fear and dread and has no one to lean on.”

“Now she is further implicated and crushed by the very agency she serves,” Basas said.

“Again, we sincerely sympathize with the child’s family, it is very painful for the parents. But we also ask for calmness from the public not to judge the teacher. Let’s wait for the results of the in-depth investigation,” he added.

Humiliation, threat

He said the case was an example of how teachers accused of child abuse in different ways suffer humiliation, physical threat, media sensationalism, bullying, and even extortion.

Basas noted that under the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, there should be confidentiality and due process in cases involving a public school educator and a student.

But he said any teacher found guilty of engaging in abusive behavior must not be tolerated and should face disciplinary measures, such as dismissal from service.

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Based on his death certificate, Gumikib’s immediate cause of death was global brain edema or brain swelling due to acute hemorrhage in the brain.

The document identified other “significant conditions” that may have contributed to his demise, including presumptive pulmonary tuberculosis and “child physical abuse.”

TAGS: child abuse, Department of Education, Francis Jay Gumikib, Sara Duterte, Teachers' Dignity Coalition

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