PRESS RELEASE: Statement of the Department of Education on the fatal stabbing of teacher Vilma Cabactulan of Pedro “Oloy” N. Roa Senior High School

The Department of Education (DepEd) condoles with the family of Vilma Cabactulan, a teacher from Pedro “Oloy” N. Roa National High School in Cagayan De Oro who was fatally stabbed by her student on September 13, 2016.

“I am deeply saddened and disturbed that an incident such as this happened in a place of learning. The Department values the welfare and lives of all learners and employees and strives for a harmonious relationship among all members of the school community,” stated DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.

According to the report submitted by the Division of Cagayan De Oro City, Cabactulan was rushed to the Madonna Hospital after her 15 year old student attacked her at 8:30 am. Sustaining three stab wounds to the back, the victim expired at 10am.

The suspect, a minor immediately fled after the incident but later in the afternoon surrendered to the authorities.

The Schools Division officers and the principal swiftly called for assistance to investigate the incident, attended to the needs of the victim’s three children and deployed additional security in the school. A stress debriefing to the students who witnessed the incidence was also conducted.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, DepEd enjoins schools, families, and communities to work together in raising children to become emotionally, mentally, and socially adjusted and apt. “I would like to commend the quick action by our division and school officials. Keeping our schools safe is a collective responsibility of our law enforcement agencies, our local governments, our communities, and the department. Perhaps it is also high time that the mental health needs of both our teachers and students are given attention,” Briones said.

The education chief also directed central office officials to determine how it may be of further assist the family of the victim.