DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The mayor of Valencia City in Bukidnon Province said the burning of the government-run high school was accidental based on the investigation of the Philippine National Police.
In a telephone interview with Davao Today, Mayor Azucena Huervas said the chief of police in Valencia City, Police Superintendent Marcial Ley Fronteras reported to her that the burning of a school building in Concepcion National High School was accidental.
“The chief of police told me ‘Mayor it was really an accident because we saw there was no proof that the fire was done deliberately,” Huervas said.
Huervas also cited the report of the local village chief who said residents heard a blast before the fire.
Based in a previous interview with City Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Management Office head June Ray Valero, the Bureau of Fire Protection found out that wirings inside a room beside the school library short circuited causing the fire.
The school building where the library and faculty room were totally burned had damage costs estimated at P160,000.
Huervas said she already told the local village head to send her a report of the damage so they could find funds for the restoration of the building.
She said the budget could be sourced from the city’s calamity fund or from the general fund.
Huervas also said that they will convene the Local School Board to discuss the matter.
Meanwhile, 1Lt. Erwin Bugarin, Civil Military Officer of the 8th Infantry Battalion said they will stand by the information they got that the school building was burned by the New People’s Army.
The Army released a statement on March 28 blaming the New People”s Army for the incident.
Bugarin told Davao Today that the residents refused to speak up on the matter.
“The information we received remains, but the residents who reported to us refused to speak up,” he said. (davaotoday.com)