Teenager Takes Own Life in Tanauan, Leyte

Teenager Takes Own Life in Tanauan, Leyte

Feb 12, 2024, 1:57 AM
Dubhe Ann Sumido

Dubhe Ann Sumido


TANAUAN, Leyte -- An 18-year-old Grade 12 student named John Oliver Vasquez was found lifeless in his home in Tanauan, Leyte on February 6, 2024. The family suspects that school-related issues might have led to this tragic event.

According to information obtained from the police, Vasquez had not been attending school for several days prior to the incident. In an interview with K5 News FM Tacloban, the victim's grandmother revealed that Vasquez had come home around 10 am that day, earlier than usual, after being sent home by his teacher. Despite her attempts to send him back to school, Vasquez refused.

The grandmother later visited the school where she was told that her grandson was being sent home due to frequent absences and not being officially enrolled. ‘Sir Maroto,’ the ‘boss,’ said students who are frequently absent are not automatically enrolled. Despite her efforts to get him enrolled, an agreement was reached that the student would return to school to write a letter ensuring his future attendance.

On the day of the incident, the grandmother had planned to accompany Vasquez to school to ensure his attendance. However, upon climbing to the second floor of their house, she discovered the devastating scene of Vasquez hanging by a rope.

The victim's aunt expressed her anger and disappointment on Facebook, specifically calling out Tanauan National High School and a teacher identified as 'Sir Maroto' who was allegedly involved in the incident. She criticized the school for sending home the student for not being officially enrolled and emphasized that the school should have guided the student, especially in the absence of parents.

The victim's aunt also expressed dismay that her own child, who was supposed to transfer to the school, was made to wait and work hard to obtain a grade.

The grandmother immediately sought help and rushed Vasquez to the Rural Health Unit (RHU), but he was declared dead on arrival. The police found what they believe to be a suicide note from Vasquez, in which he asked for his grandmother's forgiveness.

The DepEd Division of Leyte assured that an investigation will be conducted regarding the incident. A statement from the agency is expected to be released today.

Earlier this year, a similar incident occurred involving a 16-year-old Grade 10 student girl in Sta. Fe, Leyte. On January 17, 2024, she was found hanging in her room. Her parents suspected that she was depressed because she failed to submit a school project.

For those seeking professional support, they can contact the National Center for Mental Health hotlines at 0917-899-USAP (8727) or 899-USAP (8727); or the Mind Matters hotline at 0918-942-4864.

In Eastern Visayas, the DOH EVCHD Helpline at 09474238423 and 09665316464, or the National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 09663514518 are also available.

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