The Department of Education called for justice in the killing of Francis “Kiko” de Leon, an Ateneo de Manila University graduate who worked with the government agency in its disaster management efforts.
The 23-year-old is believed to be a victim of robbery and killing. His body was found around 1:20 a.m. on December 1, Sunday on J. Molina St. corner Blue Bird St. at Barangay Concepcion, Marikina City.
De Leon’s neck and chest suffered stab wounds while his cellphone was discovered missing from his belongings.
Gerard de Leon, his brother, recounted that the elder De Leon went to Starbucks at Ayala Malls Marikina to “read and research.”
He was walking home when he was killed by unidentified assailants. A multimedia reporter of a local news outlet noted that De Leon was “five minutes away” from their house where his body was found.
Marikina City police officers already commenced an investigation and noted there were no CCTV cameras in the area.
De Leon was a contingency planner for the public education sector who was taking up his master’s degree in Disaster Risk and Resilience at Ateneo de Manila University at the same time.
The DepEd called De Leon’s killing “senseless.”
Part of DepEd’s statement reads:
“He (De Leon) is fondly remembered and sorely missed not only by those he worked for and with in the DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service, but also the countless others whose lives he touched and protected.”
“He lived and worked with humility, passion, generosity and limitless joy; he remains an example and inspiration to reformists in government.”
Social media users also condemned De Leon’s killing and attested to his “kind” character.
Recent killings of DepEd employees
De Leon’s case was not the first of its kind. Six months ago, another DepEd employee was shot by a lone gunman in Cotabato City, Maguindanao.
Nasser Gayak worked as a teacher-employee in DepEd’s Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao branch when he got shot three times while walking.
Authorities surmised that he was killed because of a personal grudge.
A year ago, an administrative officer of the same government agency was shot in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental as well. He was identified as Oscar Solania Asildo Jr.
The incident prompted DepEd to develop their own fact-finding task force to help in the investigation. Part of their statement reads:
“(DepEd) decries all forms of violence, especially those that imperil the lives and well-being of our learners, teachers, and personnel.”
“More than ever, we uphold the sanctity of peace in schools and emphasize the crucial role of the community in ensuring that security is maintained in every environment where values of the youth are molded.”
A month before Asildo’s killing, another DepEd employee was gunned down in a turnover ceremony at Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur. He was recently promoted to the position of a provincial schools division superintendent before his death.