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Slain Albay teacher shielded students from attacker

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Slain public school teacher Mylene Veras-Durante shielded two students from a knife-wielding assailant who attacked them inside their school in Pio Duran town, Albay, on Tuesday night, October 9.

“The teacher tried to save the lives of the children by covering them,” Police Senior Inspector Mayvell Barcia-Gonzales, spokesperson of police provincial command in Albay, said on Wednesday, October 10.

Durante, a 23-year-old mother of two, and two grade 6 students were sleeping inside the principal’s office at the Oringon Elementary School in Barangay Oringon, Pio Duran, when a knife-wielding assailant entered the room at 11 pm.

The suspect – a 17-year-old grade 12 student from another school – was arrested on Wednesday, police said.

Gonzales said after the initial attack, the students managed to flee and lock themselves in another room. The assailant ran after the students but returned to Durante, who barely got out of the room, and stabbed her to death.

The two students sustained stab wounds and were brought to the Pio Duran Memorial District Hospital for medical treatment. 

Police said the principal’s office had served as Durante’s sleeping quarters for the last two years. Her school is located in Barangay Oringon, a remote village in Pio Duran.

‘Tragic incident’

The Department of Education (DepEd) in Bicol strongly condemned the attack which happened just days after the celebration of World Teacher’s Day.

“The education department in Bicol region is saddened by the senseless killing and is calling for immediate justice over the killing of teacher Mylene Veras-Durate, mother of two children,” said Mayflor Jumamil, DepEd-Bicol spokesperson.

In a separate statement, Deped-Bicol director Gilbert Sadsad said: “We are deeply saddened of this tragedy. Our hearts go out to those impacted by this tragedy, especially to the family of our teacher."

Sadsad said the regional office will conduct its own fact-finding investigation into the incident and will fully cooperate with police investigators.

“We will be conducting a fact-finding investigation on this and we will accord the necessary actions for our learners and teachers impacted by this tragic incident. We will also be working closely with the authorities such as providing them with access to any resources that they may need in their conduct of investigation,” he added. – Rappler.com