RESPECT, SYMPATHY. Vice President Sara Duterte visits the wake of slain teacher Joel Reformado in Pikit, North Cotabato, on Sunday (June 5, 2023). She appealed to the police for the speedy resolution of Reformado’s murder and other shooting incidents in the town. (Photos courtesy of VP Sara's Facebook Page)

COTABATO CITY – Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Sunday called for the speedy resolution of the murder of a public school teacher in Pikit, North Cotabato.

Duterte issued the appeal as she paid her last respects to slain teacher Joel Reformado during a brief visit at his wake in Poblacion, Pikit.

Reformado, 37, a teacher at Damalasak Elementary School, was gunned down on May 26 in front of Manaulanan Elementary School, also in Pikit. His co-teacher, Elton John Lapined, was also injured.

Both were heading home from work when unidentified gunmen shot them at past 4 p.m.
Reformado died on the spot while Lapined is currently recuperating in a hospital.

Reformado was laid to his final resting place on Sunday.

Duterte briefly spoke with Reformado’s parents and relatives before proceeding to Davao City.

Satellite office in BARMM

Earlier on the same day, officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) welcomed Duterte’s opening of the satellite Office of the Vice President (OVP) in this city.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim assured the Vice President of the regional government's support for her programs in the area.

“Rest assured of the support from the BARMM government to the OVP in implementing its programs and services like Mag Negosyo Ta ‘Day, PagbaBAGo campaign, Kalusugan Food Truck, Pansarap nutritional feeding program, and calamity response under the Disaster Operations Center,” Ebrahim said.

Duterte said the new OVP satellite office here will give BARMM residents easier access to social services her office is offering to indigents.

“The satellite offices were not set up per region but were hand-picked strategically for their location. A major consideration is their proximity and accessibility to other areas or islands,” she told local officials of Cotabato City and BARMM.

Joining the Vice President in the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new OVP office situated along Sinsuat Avenue in this city were Ebrahim, Cotabato City Mayor Bruce Matabalao and Maguindanao del Norte OIC Gov. Abdulraof Macacua.

Duterte’s OVP satellite office here is the fourth in Mindanao and the ninth in the country since assuming office in last year. (PNA)