Two schools in Mindanao catch fire
MANILA, Philippines — Two schools in Mindanao caught fire two days before the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) on October 30.
In a police spot report from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday, the Ruminimbang Elementary School in Barangay Ruminimbang, Barira town in Maguindanao del Norte caught fire, which burnt the classrooms of pupils grades one to four. No deaths were reported.
According to the Comelec, Barangay Ruminimbang is classified as an election area with grave concern in the red category and the incident may be connected with the BSKE elections, as the classrooms were to be used as polling precincts, but it said that it was too early to make a definitive conclusion.
Investigations are now ongoing.
Meanwhile, a two-hour fire razed the Poona Piagapo Central Elementary School in Old Poblacion, Poona Piagapo town, Lanao del Norte province at early dawn on Saturday.
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Marlon Famoso, commanding officer of the Army’s 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, said the fire broke out at 2 a.m.
Poblacion village councilor Buhary Musa reported the incident to authorities.
Famoso said the school is about 25 kilometers from the national highway and has no mobile phone signal in its vicinity.
The facility was completely razed to the ground by 4 a.m., Fomoso said.
The Army coordinated with the municipal police, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Comelec as the school is supposed to be a voting center for Monday’s village and youth polls.
Senior Fire Officer 3 Ruel Lee, fire marshall of the BFP-Kauswagan, said the razed school building included a library and two classrooms.
Lee vowed that a thorough investigation would be conducted to determine the cause of the fire.