BULACAN, Philippines – A teacher was declared dead on the spot after she was shot by a former flame inside her classroom at Tambubong Elementary School in Bocaue, Bulacan on Wednesday (November 21).
The victim has been identified as Melody Esber, 33, a Grade 4 teacher.
She is survived by her three children and her husband who is currently working abroad.
The suspect, who took his life after shooting Esber, was identified as 40-year-old Ruperto Datwin, a married man and an active member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) prior to his death.
Based on police investigation, Datwin barged in while Esber was handling a class.
The two had an argument which led to Datwin committing suicide after shooting Esber.
One of the students was also hurt by a stray bullet slug from the incident.
The student is now in stable condition.
According to Bocaue Chief of Police PSSupt. Amado Mendoza, Datwin couldn’t accept that Esber was leaving him.
A note was recovered from inside the suspect’s folder at the crime scene which detailed the victim and the suspect’s relationship.
The end of the note reads: “Kamatayan lamang ang makapaghihiwalay sa atin.”
“Doon sa crime scene, may mga dokumento tayo, nakita na kung saan, pareho nilang inilalahad yung istorya ng kanilang lovelife. Since 2017 makikita natin doon na masaya naman silang nagsasama, until nitong later part, na parang meron silang problema, sa financial saka doon sa kanilang pagsasama,” Mendoza said.
“Umiiyak iyong lalaki. Sa amin nagtungo minsan. Isang beses lang pero alam ko wala na sila. Magkarelasyon sila. Akala po namin okay na, wala pong problema. Nagulat po kami ganyan bigla bigla na lang,” narrated Esber’s brother, Delfin Sta. Teresa.
According to the school principal, the suspect joined the crowd of students to enter the school premises.
“Ang kinder may shifting po kami. Kapag 9am po ang mga bata lumalabas po. Binubuksan na po namin ang gate po doon. Kapag 9:00 a.m. nagpapalit po ng klase; (every) three hours ang kinder. Hindi po namin alam na iyon, sinabayan ang pagpasok ng mga bata,” explained Ronel Rom, the school principal.
Classes were immediately suspended after the incident.
The students who witnessed the crime, meanwhile, were immediately given stress debriefing to recover from the traumatic experience due to the incident. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nestor Torres)