Celso, Beng, DepEd share resources for Talisayan school crisis intervention PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:17

Mayor Celso Lobregat, Cong. Beng Climaco and the Department of Education are contributing resources to help the Talisayan Elementary School community cope with the October 22 stabbing rampage that killed four people including a teacher and a student and wounding 6 others.

Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro was scheduled to arrive in the city last night to personally look into the measures adopted by the different agencies concerned including the ongoing stress debriefing sessions to ease the trauma inflicted on the school community by the incident.

Last Tuesday afternoon, Luistro sent Education undersecretary Rizalino Rivera to Zamboanga for the second time since Saturday (Oct. 23) to help finalize plans for the stress debriefing sessions that started Wednesday and conducted by a joint team of experts from the DEPED and the city government’s social welfare and development office.

According to Mayor Lobregat, the victims need professional attention in order to ease the trauma inflicted by the tragic incident perpetrated by ex-convict Felin Mateo, who was himself killed by enraged residents and barangay chairmen.

The incident killed teacher Lorna Pulalon, grade 6 pupil Ces Orpiano and grandfather Ruben Flores who tried to rescue his grandson from the rampage.  Six others were wounded: Ludivina Balilo, a grade 5 teacher; Joshua Demco, 11 years old; Maria Lyka Basing, 12; Princess Briones, 12; Michaela Jacona, 12 and Dionie Torres, a grade 6 teacher who is in critical condition.

The city government has provided assistance to the wounded victims including survivors of the slain victims. Mayor Lobregat was also at the scene a few minutes after the incident to personally give instructions to concerned agencies.

Congresswoman Climaco supplemented the assistance of the city by also helping in the wounded victims’ bills at the hospital and the burial expenses of the slain victims. She likewise strongly recommended for the stress debriefing of the survivors including the other school staff and other members of the school community.

Usec. Rivera has expressed gratitude to both Mayor Lobregat and Cong. Climaco “for caring for the teachers and students and their families in the Talisayan Elementary School stabbing”.

“We in the DepEd are indebted to you for your support and generosity. Your constituents are fortunate to have you as their political leaders!” Rivera said referring to the two officials.

Asked to comment on what the city government did in response to the incident, Usec Rivera said straightforward:  “Mayor Lobregat literally stayed with the victims. He was even in the operating room when Teacher Joni was being operated. He later spent the whole day with me visiting the victims and their families. He also gave financial help to the victims and their families. Bilib ako! Reminded me of Guliani during 9-11”.

“Cong. Beng Climaco who was still in Manila the morning after the incident made sure her staff gave moral and financial support to the victims and their families. They too were at the hospital attending to the victims. She kept on calling and texting and was in Zamboanga City by the afternoon”, Usec Rivera said adding: “I salute both officials. True servant leaders! We need more public officials like them”.

Rivera was in Zamboanga Saturday to show solidarity and concern to the students and teachers following the incident.

Sec. Luistro is set to announce the other assistance package for the survivors and the victims of the tragedy during his visit in from Wednesday to Thursday.

Meanwhile, Sec. Luistro, together with Mayor Lobregat, was set to attend the wake of Orpiano in Talisayan as well as the prayers for the late Torres in San Ramon last night. Today, he will be spearheading various other activities related to the Talisayan school community, in coordination with Mayor Lobregat.

By Sheila Covarrubias