MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Tuesday vowed justice for Althea Vivien Mendoza, a third-year medical technology student, who was assaulted and shot by her classmate at the parking lot of Saint Paul University-Tuguegarao City in Cagayan province last Nov. 13.
The DILG chief said he was appalled by the viral video which showed that Mendoza was shot and beaten by another student inside the school campus. The assaulted student is currently recovering from her injuries.
“Bilang Kalihim ng DILG ay hindi ko papayagan ang anumang uri ng karahasan laban sa mga kababaihan (As Secretary of the DILG I will not allow any kind of violence against women). Rest assured that I will personally monitor this case and ensure that justice is done,” Abalos said in a statement.
Abalos also said he would talk to school administrators to find out how they can better ensure the safety of students inside their campuses and come up with better ways to detect "troubled or disturbed individuals so that they can intervene sooner".
“I ask the public to join me in an effort to put an end to violence against women and children. Sugpuin natin ang karahasan laban sa kababaihan at kabataan alang-alang sa mas makatao at makatarungang lipunan (Let us suppress violence against women and youth for the sake of a more humane and just society),” he stressed.
Mendoza suffered a serious head injury and a gunshot wound in the jaw after the suspect, Kristian Rafael Ramos, 20, hit her several times in the head and shot her with a .45 caliber pistol.
Mendoza and Ramos are both Medical Technology students at St. Paul University of the Philippines in Tuguegarao City and residents of Isabela province.
Ramos was charged with frustrated murder and violation of the Omnibus Election Code. However, he was released on Nov. 15 after posting bail worth PHP236,000 for his temporary liberty. (PNA)