INVESTIGATORS and social workers are still in the dark regarding the motive of the 15-year-old suspect in the killing of his teacher in Barangay Canitoan, Cagayan de Oro City, Tuesday morning, September 13.
The boy will be turned over by the Bulua Police Station to the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) today for further examinations relating to the incident.
Police Chief Inspector Arvies Altitche said the suspect is still a minor, authorities would have to comply with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 otherwise known as Republic Act 9344.
According to the Act, a minor who is fifteen years of age or under at the time of the offense shall be completely exempted from criminal liability. However, if the minor's age was identified to be below eighteen but is above fifteen years old (16, 17, or 18) then investigators would have to identify the discernment of the child with regards to the incident. If proven that the minor had complete wisdom of his crime, the child would then have to face charges when he reaches 18.
The suspect’s birth date became the focus of investigation on Wednesday, September 14, because of the act, Altitche said.
"They can actually file a case against the student. The Prosecutor's office will then identify upon investigation of the minor's age and his discernment of the crime if the case should be perused in court. We are doing this so that no one would assume that we are biased in this case especially since there is a minor involved," Altitche said.
Teddy Sabugaa, CSWD chief, said the suspect will be placed in the Tahanan ng Kabataan or Boystown in Lumbia where he will be examined by social workers.
"If he is indeed fifteen years old, we will subject him to probationary programs at the Tahanan for six months, by the end of which we will identify if he has already recovered from the event or not. However, if the age is 16 or above and his discernment of the crime is positive, then he would have to be turned over to the Regional Rehabilitation Center of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Gingoog," Sabugaa said
Sabugaa added the suspect could also be subjected to drug tests by the CSWD if upon investigation, probable cause is found to merit the drug tests.
The suspect’s classmates and some faculty members underwent a psycho-social processing led by Stella Ferrarez of the CSWD Psycho-social Unit Division.
The psycho-social intervention was done to process the experiences of the 30 classmates of the suspect and some of the faculties of PN Roa National High School who were present during the crime.
"We are also focusing on the family of Mrs. Vilma Cabactulan because we found out that she had three children, ages, twelve, ten, and three and that she is separated from her husband who now has another family,” Sabuga-a said.
“Our social workers are giving programs to the three children and our office is now working on the custody cases of these children," added Sabuga-a.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Reynaldo Manuel Jr. of the Cagayan de Oro Schools Division said the incident is the first time that a teacher in the city was killed by a student.