Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Friday visited the wake of Francis Jay Gumikib, the 14-year-old student in Antipolo City who died after getting slapped by his teacher.
Duterte extended her deepest condolences and provided moral support to the bereaved family during her visit. She was joined by other Education officials including spokesperson Michael Poa.
Gumikib, a Grade 5 student of Penafrancia Elementary School, died on October 2, around 11 days after he was hospitalized after being reportedly hit by his Filipino teacher.
His death certificate showed he succumbed to global brain edema or brain swelling with an antecedent cause of acute intraparenchymal hemorrhage or bleeding into the brain tissue.
Also indicated in the document are other significant conditions contributing to his death including presumptive pulmonary tuberculosis and child physical abuse.
However, forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun questioned the insufficient data in the document including the underlying cause of death, which can determine why the victim suffered a brain hemorrhage.
She also said it should be considered the victim suffered from tuberculosis and there was an 11-day period between the alleged assault and his death.
“It can produce meningitis. Are we not dealing with meningoencephalitis? An inflammation of the brain and the covering? And that can be from bacteria,” said Fortun.
Gumikib’s mother is open to the possibility that her son might have contracted tuberculosis but said she still suspects that the alleged hitting was related to his demise.
“Wala naman po siyang sakit, malusog. Saan po ba nanggaling ‘yung pagkabagok ng utak niya o ‘yung pamamaga, hemorrhage?” she said.
(He was healthy so where did the brain swelling come from?)
The DepEd Antipolo, the school principal, and the mayor of Antipolo City earlier visited the wake and promised burial assistance to the bereaved family.
The Philippine National Police said it will continue its investigation into the incident.–LDF, GMA Integrated News