Bulacan State U execs, teachers sued for death of 7 students in river mishap
CITY OF MALOLOS—A group of parents on Monday sued officials and teachers of Bulacan State University (BulSU), as well as a tour company and three local guides, for the Aug. 19 drowning of seven students in the Madlum River during a field trip organized by a school organization.
Dr. Mariano de Jesus, BulSU president; Dr. Nicanor de la Rama, vice president for student affairs; Dr. Nerissa Viola, dean of the College of Home Economics (CHE); and Angie Cinco, CHE assistant dean, were among those charged with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and physical trauma, for violating the anti-child abuse law (Republic Act No. 7610), for grave misconduct and grave neglect of duty.
The Inquirer sought De Jesus on Tuesday but he declined to comment.
The complaint was filed by Hannah Grace Fabella, 16, a student who survived the accident, and the parents of five students who drowned when they were swept away by a strong river current.
The complaint said BulSU officials allowed a student organization, Federation of Accelerating Students of Tourism (Fast), to organize a field trip, violating Bulacan provincial government regulations and a policy imposed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).
“For failing to heed the CHEd rules, our children were taken to a place and put in a situation that was dangerous to minors, which resulted in their early death and which almost killed me (a reference to Fabella),” the complaint said.
The complaint questioned the bidding process that was undertaken to secure the services of a private company to facilitate the field trip.
The families of the two other victims, Maiko Eleva Bartolome and Mary Magdalene Navaro, did not join the lawsuit. Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon
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