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PAMPANGA, Philippines – College student Althea Vivien Mendoza, 20, is already in stable condition and recovering in a hospital following the ruthless assault by a fellow student inside the school premises of a university in Tuguegarao City in Cagayan province on November 13.
Mendoza suffered serious head injury and a gunshot wound in the jaw after the suspect, Kristian Rafael Ramos, 20, hit her several times in the head and shot her with a .45 caliber pistol.
Both are Medical Technology students at St. Paul University of the Philippines in Tuguegarao City but are residents of Isabela province.
Ramos was charged with frustrated murder and violation of the Omnibus Election Code. However, he was released on November 15 after posting bail for P236,000 for his temporary liberty. The release order was issued by Executive Judge Jezarene Aquino of the Regional Trial Court Branch 5.
City police chief Lieutenant Colonel Richard Gatan said the suspect’s father voluntarily surrendered Ramos at the Tuguegarao police station where he was detained around 36 hours.
Gatan added that the father is a non-officer member of the Philippine National Police assigned in Isabela.
Police provincial director Colonel Julio Gorospe Jr. also held a dialogue between the public and private school heads following the incident to remind them of the security resource and suggested hiring security guards instead of marshals in their school, according to Gatan.
“Ang pagkakaiba non, ang security guard may lisensiya, may baril, naka uniform. So may agency sila na nagaalaga sa kanila at nagtuturo ng tama. At the same time kung iaallow ng school, mag conduct kami ng simulation excercise para pag may ganung incident alam ng mga bata, teachers, ang kanilang gagawin,” said Gatan.
(The difference is, the security guard has a license, a gun, in uniform. So they have agencies who supervises them. At the same time, if the school permits, we will conduct simulation exercise for the students, teachers so they would know what to do when such incidents happen.)
Mayor Maila Ting said the incident is still considered an isolated case since it happened inside the school premises.
Ting stressed that the role of parents and family engagement is a vital contribution in shaping the character and disposition of their children.
“It pains me to know that our younger adults have now become more bold in their actions and are susceptible to emotions. And (they) are probably still feeling the effects of the isolation and social distance that happened during the pandemic,” Ting told Rappler on Thursday, November 16.
“We are in a shared responsibility when it comes to our children. Outside the home, they are students, young adults. The influence of social media is different. And teaching our children the values doesn’t begin and end in school. It starts at home.”
Based on the initial report, two witnesses heard Mendoza shouting for help at the parking area of the campus and saw Ramos physically assaulting Mendoza inside Hyundai Accent. As Mendoza got out of the vehicle, the suspect also followed.
Ramos then pointed the gun to the witnesses which caused them to flee the scene. As the witnesses reached a certain distance, Ramos shot the victim and drove away before he surrendered.
The incident was also caught on video which immediately went viral on social media. – Rappler.com