CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – A public school building of Bgy Gaid, Dimasalang, Masbate was burned down by more or less ten heavily-armed men at 12:00MN on 01 March 2010, an army officer said.
Colonel Alvin Tiamwatt, chief of Task Force Masbate said that local residents were shocked to see the school building razed down by flames at around midnight. Onlookers saw some of the armed men as they hurriedly departed from the crime scene while firing shots in the air.
Responding elements of the local police and the military found containers of gasoline believed to be used in starting the flames.
“This is another barbaric act committed by heartless people. Our children don’t have classrooms anymore!”, complained one resident who refused to be identified. The school has three classrooms that can accommodate at least 248 schoolchildren said Enna Cabintoy, the school head teacher. “Starting today, classes will be conducted in makeshift huts and under the shades of the trees”, she added.
Major Harold M Cabunoc, 9ID Spokesperson, said that at around 8am today (March 2), troops of TF Masbate led by Col Alvin Tiamwatt and Masbate PPO under PSSupt Eddie Benigay, visited the area to assess the security situation and conduct thorough investigation.
Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, directed Task Force Masbate to closely coordinate with the local police in making the perpetrators of the crime accountable soon.