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Antipolo Grade 5 student died due to brain swelling and bleeding, death certificate says

By NICK GARCIA Published Oct 05, 2023 11:32 am

The death certificate of the Grade 5 student from Antipolo whose teacher allegedly pulled his hair and slapped him has been released. However, a forensic pathologist is questioning the details.

TV5's Frontline Pilipinas reported that 14-year-old Francis Jay Gumikib's immediate cause of death was "global brain edema," or the swelling in the brain due to increased water content.

The antecedent cause, or the underlying condition that led to the cause of death, is "acute intraparenchymal hemorrhage left medullary pontine area" or bleeding in the brain.

Significant contributions leading to death include "child physical abuse" and "presumptive pulmonary tuberculosis," meaning Gumikib exhibited symptoms suggestive of the disease like weakness, weight loss, fever, cough, chest pain, and coughing up of blood.

Dr. Raquel Fortun, however, said the death certificate didn't state how the hemorrhage happened.

"That doesn't explain how he died," Fortun said. "Hindi sinasabi kung 'yung hemorrhage sa brain ay due to trauma."

She also noted that though brain swelling is a "common problem," it's encased in the skull and doesn't have much room to expand.

As for the significant contributions leading to Gumikib's death, Fortun said they are technically unrelated to the cause of his death itself.

Gumikib's father Joseph said his son didn't have any sickness and was shocked to learn about the presumptive pulmonary tuberculosis.

"Baka doon siya napuruhan sa singsing (ng teacher) at malakas ang pagkasampal," Joseph said. "Kasi kung hinabi lang niya 'yung anak ko, di magkakaganun 'yun."

Gumikib's mother Elena also told GMA's 24 Oras that her son was healthy and was only hospitalized after the incident.

Minggoy noted that before he died, he experienced vomiting of blood, something "crawling" in his right ear, headache, and blurry vision.

Gumikib's body was brought to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for autopsy and x-ray to look into the cause of death further. The process would take about a week, 24 Oras reported.

Once the autopsy is done, Antipolo Police Chief Ryan Manongdo said they will file a homicide complaint against the teacher. He added that they also have two witnesses who are ready to testify.

Gumikib of Peñafrancia Elementary School was reportedly slapped after being scolded because he complained about the noise made by his classmates.

The teacher then allegedly pulled his collar and his hair before slapping him. He repeatedly complained about severe headaches and pain in his ear on Sept. 20.

He was still able to attend his classes over the next days but was rushed to the hospital on Sept. 26 after experiencing dizziness, vomiting, and loss of balance. He went into a coma and died on Oct. 2.

The Department of Education Antipolo earlier said in a statement that it has taken appropriate actions to address the alleged child abuse incident and submitted its initial findings to DepEd Calabarzon.

Peñafrancia Elementary School's principal, meanwhile, said the teacher in question is already on leave. It's unclear whether the teacher left on their own accord or was asked to do so by the school.