Philippine student deaths raise alarm over teen gangs – UCA News

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About 300 gang wars occur on average per year in the country

Philippine student deaths raise alarm over teen gangs

The sister of teenager Carl Arnaiz, who was shot and killed after he allegedly robbed a taxi driver at gunpoint, weeps during a Mass ahead of his burial at the Mater Dolorosa Parish in Manila in 2017. (Photo: AFP)

By UCA News reporter

Published: January 26, 2023 12:01 PM GMT

The recent killing of two students in Manila by fellow classmates has sparked concerns over gang-related violence in Philippine schools.

Two students were killed in Culiat High School and Juan Graciano High School, both government-run institutes, in the capital Manila on Jan. 20 and 23 respectively, local media reported.

Carlos Rivera, 15, died after he was stabbed in the chest by a fellow student with a pen knife, who allegedly attempted to recruit him to a teen gang. The violence at Juan Graciano High School occurred on Jan. 23.

“They were both wearing khaki pants and white shirts with school logo, and they [the assailant and the victim] knew each other because there was an altercation first,” store owner and witness Clara Ochoa told UCA News.

Ochoa said the event happened “so fast” because Rivera was fixing his books in his bag when the assailant approached him.

Police investigators confirmed Rivera was a neophyte of a local gang and was under initiation.

His assailant, Richard Unson, 16, was a member of the Brotherhood of Martyrs, a local gang in Quezon City.

“In our investigation, Rivera was applying to be a member… but before becoming a full-fledged member, he had to undergo hazing… This type of group was responsible for breaking windows of cars to get laptops left behind by their owners and street rumbles because of gang wars,” Quezon City police investigator Hector Calma told UCA News.

Police reports revealed Rivera and his assailant’s altercation was because of a sports tournament Rivera failed to attend.

“It began in a simple basketball game. The gang wanted the victim to play for a certain team because he [Rivera] was a good basketball player. The gang placed a huge bet on the team… instead Rivera played in the opposite team,” Calma added.

Meanwhile, a 13-year-old student died after he was stabbed in the chest by his 15-year-old classmate at Culiat High School on Jan. 20.


Philippine student deaths raise alarm over teen gangs – UCA News

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