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Police to probe lapses, reason in teen’s suicide

CEBU, Philippines — The police will deepen its investigation on the death of a Grade 12 student who leapt from the 7th floor of the Asian College of Technology Thursday afternoon.

Carbon Police Chief Jacinto Mandal Jr., said it was past 4 p.m. Thursday when Jonah Mae Villarin, 17, jumped off from the window of the women's comfort room of the school’s 7th floor.

The police are looking at family problem as the possible reason of the victim in committing suicide, based on the statement by the school’s guidance counsellor, who talked to Villarin shortly before she jumped off from the building.

The victim reportedly left their home last week and went to her cousin in Barili, Cebu after she was scolded by her parents.

“Ang atong nasubay kay purely ra sa victim ra kabubut-on.  Suicide. Mao among gitan-aw karon. Among nahibaw-an kay family problems.  So, atong i-check kung unsa nga family problem,” said Mandal.

He also said that they will investigate further whether there is a lapse on the school’s security.

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“Palawoman pa gyud ni nato ang investigation. Makipag-cooperate ta sa eskwelahan, sa ginikanan,” said Mandal.

Senior Police Officer 1 Winston Ybañez, who is investigating the case, said that the victim’s family asked for respect and privacy as of this time, as they grieve for the loss of their loved one.

Ybañez added that they are coordinating with the school for further investigation. They scheduled to meet the guidance counselor who talked to the victim before she jumped off and her classmates.

One of Villarin’s teacher also told the police that, prior to the incident, the victim was already hysterical and even tried to jump from the 8th floor, but was stopped by her teacher.

In the official statement released by the school, Guidance Counselor Marcus Agonia Jr. said that Villarin told him that “she has been physically, verbally and psychologically abused by her parents at home.”

Ybañez said that they will look into if the parents have the liability for the incident based on the statement given by the victim to the guidance counselor.

“Dili pa ko maka-ingon, ato pa gyud nang imbestigaron,” Ybañez said.

The police believed that there is a possibility that Villarin’s head was hit on the Gasul tanks in the ground floor at the back of the culinary room and other steel objects which resulted to her instantaneous death.

In another statement, ACT President Dr. Stephen Descallar said Jonah Mae's parents are now trying hard to parry the deluge of criticisms against them especially in the social media.

“We will encourage them to go ahead with their plan to sue ACT about the so called "lapses" so that in the process the truth about the alleged abuses they have committed against their very own minor daughter will be uncovered and meted appropriate criminal charges such as RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act,” the statement reads.

It added that the school will ask Jonah Mae's classmates and the guidance counselors to execute affidavits to reveal the supposed ordeals she went through as told to them by Jonah in the recent days just before the fateful day.

“The school will take the cudgel in behalf of Jonah and the aggrieved studentry since the alleged perpetrators of the abuses are her very own parents,” the statement further reads. (FREEMAN)

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