NO TRESPASSING. Teachers and learners wait outside the campus of a public elementary school in Burauen, Leyte after a claimant padlocked the gate early Wednesday (Sept. 7, 2022). The school opened after a few hours with the help of local officials and police. (Photo courtesy of Gil Tamayo)

TACLOBAN CITY – Some 150 students in a public elementary school in Burauen, Leyte resumed their classes on Wednesday after a family padlocked the campus for hours due to lot ownership claims.

Herbert Del Pilar, principal of Maghubas Elementary School in Burauen town, said teachers and elementary pupils waited for the gate to open on Wednesday morning after a property claimant padlocked the gate and posted a no trespassing sign.

“We managed to open the school gate past 8 a.m. with the help of local police and village officials. Early Wednesday, the claimant even threatened our students to stop coming to school. He has no court order to do that,” Del Pilar said.

Some children will be subject to stress debriefing by local social workers after they were traumatized by early morning chaos, according to the principal.

He added that a certain Jimmy Pacala, whose house is next to the campus, padlocked the gate as he claimed that the property belongs to their family.

Pacala’s grandfather donated the lot to the local government of Burauen in 1966, which was later designated as a school site in the same year.

The campus is along the town’s primary road in Maghubas village.

The school is about 44 kilometers south of Tacloban, the provincial capital.

Department of Education Leyte schools division superintendent Manuel Albaño and a lawyer visited the school to talk to the claimant, check the deed of donation, and other documents to settle the issue. (PNA)