Failon Ngayon: Karahasan sa Eskwelahan

Posted at 07/21/11 8:00 PM

Eric Lacal (L) and Ramil Morales (R), high school students and victims of violence committed by a minor.

It’s bad enough that today’s youth is exposed to so many negative factors like drugs, alcohol, and even sex. Once considered as innocent minded beings, today’s generation of minors know and are capable of a lot of things that are not expected of them.

Adding to this is the recent string of violence involving minors, some incidents even resulting in death. Last June 17, 2011, 9 year old Christine Gambo died due to excessive blows to the head delivered by her classmate. The reason: Christine’s classmate was terribly jealous of her cellular phone.

In March of this year, 17 year old Mary Joy was shot by her boyfriend Judiel because of a simple love quarrel. After shooting Mary Joy, Judiel shot himself too. The incident happened in the University of Manila.

Janjan Salang was brutally beat down by a classmate of his. The beating left Janjan badly hurt.

September of last year, Failon Ngayon reported the case of Janjan Salang, who was brutally beaten within an inch of his life with a pair of brass knuckles. The culprit was Janjan’s 16 year old classmate. Much of the beating was concentrated on Janjan’s head, leaving causing him to fall into comatose and needing severe medical treatment. The medical expenses left Janjan’s parents deep in debt.

Through the help of generous viewers, Janjan has now gotten better and regained his ability to walk and talk. Although still not fully recovered, Janjan remains strong and grateful to those who have helped him.

There is still pain in the heart of Janjan’s mother because of the fact that the case regarding Janjan’s beating has not progressed and the person responsible is still at large because he is a minor.

All because of a little pushing

Eric Lacal and Ramil Morales are both first year high school students at the Villamor High School in Sta. Ana, Manila. According to Ramil, he and Eric were waiting for their next class when another student named “Carlo” accidentally pushed them and they started pushing each other back. Moments later, they were confronted by Carlo’s younger brother, “Jepoy” and some words were exchanged.

To avoid any more tension, Eric and Ramil decided to proceed to their classroom. After classes, Eric and Ramil went down to the school grounds and met up with some other classmates to discuss their assignments when all of a sudden, Jepoy started stabbing Eric with a balisong. Ramil decided to run but Jepoy chased him down and started stabbing him as well.

Both victims survived the attack but were badly wounded. Both sustained wounds to their lungs, and other parts of the body.

The suspect is currently being held at the Sta. Ana Police Station, in a prison cell normally reserved for criminals who are of legal age while waiting for his transfer to the Manila Youth Reception Center. When asked if he thought what he did was right, he replied saying that it was indeed just right, and he did it because of self defense.

Jepoy claims that he was not the one who started the melee and says that the “balisong” he used to stab Eric and Ramil was not actually his, but the victims’. Police Investigation and the victims’ statements say otherwise.

Jepoy later felt regret for what he did and asked for forgiveness from the victims and their families.

Surprising statistics and signs

According to a study conducted by the Philippine Women’s University, 4 out of 10 students from Grades 1 to 3, 7 out of 10 students from Grades 4 to 6, and 6 out of 10 students in high school experience forms of violence inside school premises and most of the time, male students are involved.

As students grow older, they are more capable of doing more violent actions to their classmates, which is very alarming and can become the root of criminal behaviour.

While the DepEd is working to prevent more incidents from happening, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro states that for now, the only preventive measure that they have is spot checking of the students’ bags. While Secretary Luistro believes that daily spot checking can have a negative effect on the students, Clinical Psychologist Christina Rosello believes that violent actions among minors stem from pent up anger and rage that has been bottled up inside and it’s also possible that these minors have been exposed to violent situations in their surroundings.

When a child is quiet but easily provoked and becomes hostile, and displays sadistic behaviour towards animals, it is possible that he or she is capable of rage and violence.

Is the law to blame?

Do you agree that a person must be at 18 years old before he or she can be punished?

It is believed that poor security, broken family relations, and the ongoing debate regarding the Juvenile Justice act are some of the reasons why crimes involving minors have skyrocketed.

When R.A. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice act of 2006 was implemented, there were 3000 cases of minor-committed crimes in 2007 alone, and that number has steadily increased each year after. To date, there are 10,000 cases where in minors are involved.

According to R.A. 9344, children aged 15 and below are still incapable of deciphering what is right from what is wrong. This is what the law calls the “Age of Discernment”. Unfortunately, there are indeed youths who know what is right and wrong and know what this Republic Act stands for. Armed with the knowledge that they can’t be imprisoned because of this, they have more motivation to commit crimes. Sadly, there are also parents who, in a way, condone their children’s’ actions and say “Eh hindi naman makukulong ‘yong anak ko eh. (So what, my child can’t be imprisoned anyway.)”

With mindsets like these, it isn’t a surprise that the number of “youth offenders” grow every year.


With the recent incident behind them , Villamor High School claims that they will intensify security measures so as to prevent a repeat of what happened to two of their students.

Janjan Salang was brutally beat down by a classmate of his. The beating left Janjan badly hurt.

Eric and Ramil’s parents however, are still saddened at what happened to their children. Who would’ve expected that something like this could happen in school, a place that many consider as a second home to their children.

“Karahasan sa Eskwelahan” aired on Saturday, June 25, 2011.

You can catch Failon Ngayon every Saturday, 4:45 p.m. on ABS-CBN and replays every Sunday, 1:30 p.m. on ANC.