Calbayog students call on city execs to end violence
CALBAYOG CITY—More than 3,000 students marched here on Friday to demand justice for the death of a 14-year-old girl and call for an end to violence in the city that has seen a series of killings involving private armed groups.
At least 100 teachers joined the students in their “Call for Peace, Walk for Justice” that started on the campus of Calbayog City National High School (CCNHS) on Friday afternoon.
On March 5, Angel Baylon, 14, and Missy Suela, 12, both Grade 7 students of CCNHS, were entering Bagacay Beach Resort here when they were shot while a gunman was chasing another man in the area. Baylon was hit in the head while Suela had a bullet wound in the chest.
Baylon died on March 6 while Suela remained in critical condition.
“We, the youth of Calbayog, must not lose hope and unite to fight for peace and justice,” said Rev Monroe Durmiendo, president of the Supreme Student Government of CCNHS, as he called on local officials to end killings in this Samar capital.
Avelina Tupa, the school’s officer in charge, said the rally, which was initiated by the students, should move Calbayognons to work for peace.
“I hope this will be a wake-up call to all of us Calbayognons to join hands for unity and peace in the city. [We hope] that this (Baylon’s death) will not happen again to anybody,” she said.
Police said Baylon and Suela were caught in the crossfire when two men attacked Jimboy Tomnob.
The gunmen arrived while Tomnob was on his way out of the resort. When Tomnob saw them, he ran back to the resort, passing between Baylon and Suela who were paying their entrance fees.
One of the two men fired at Tomnob before boarding their motorcycle. Tomnob was hit in the right forearm.
Calbayog Mayor Ronaldo Aquino called the shooting an “unchristian and inhumane” act and appealed to Calbayognons to be vigilant and help the police solve the case.
He also asked law enforcers to strengthen security monitoring and maintain peace and order in the city.
“We, your elected officials and law enforcers, are not superheroes. We cannot do it alone. We need your help. We need your support [and] we need your cooperation to solve the problems in our city,” Aquino said.
“We need you to make Calbayog … peaceful and a good place to live in for Calbayognons,” he added.
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