The Inbox

Principal says Pagadian City school is a tragedy- in-waiting

Cracked walls of Otto Lingue National HighSchool

By Ellen Tordesillas

I got this letter from Tess Tarranza, principal of  Otto Lingue National High School  in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.

With the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck in Eastern Samar last Friday; 5.9 in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last Monday, 5.6 in Bukidnon  and  PAGASA's  statement that they are expecting  about 10 more typhoons before the end of the year, their concern has become urgent.

Tarranza  wrote:

"My students and I go to school everyday fearing for our lives. Anytime now, the landslide wall protecting our school buildings could collapse and a number of innocent lives would be lost.

"This wall is ruptured almost cutting the structure in half. And because we experience heavy rains almost everyday, the damage just keeps getting worse.

"God knows we have exhausted every effort appealing to the local government, and yet to this day, not one government official has taken any much needed action to repair the landslide wall. This is why Faye Reyes of started an urgent petition on

"I was afraid no else will listen, but this petition gives me hope that Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Victor Yu and Pagadian Mayor Samuel Co will realize that all eyes are now on them and that they should act to protect the lives of our students and teachers from an imminent landslide. Please join us.

"One local official told us that we will have to wait for the dry season before something can be done about this wall. I felt as if a part of me has already died upon hearing this. I can only silently ask myself why they have to wait for a terrible tragedy before they act.

"This school is the only place where our indigent children can dream. Despite the risk, they religiously attend class hoping this will be their ticket out of poverty. Some even hike to school for about 3-4 hours through the hills with their worn out slippers and empty stomachs every single day.

"We may only be a small school from a very poor and far flung barangay in Zamboanga del Sur, but if you add your voice to our cause, these government officials might realize that our students are much more important than politics.

"Will you help me keep them safe by calling on Cong. Yu and Mayor Co to take immediate action to repair the landslide wall and strengthen its foundation before a terrible tragedy strikes our school? "

For those who want to sign the petition, you may go to

Why do the principal and the parents of students in Otto Lingue NHS have to resort to an online petition to get the attention of concerned government officials?

How about the Education Secretary Armin Luistro and the concerned  DEP-ED  officials?


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Appeal for convicted Pinay in Indonesia continues – Palace

    The Aquino government is doing everything possible to save a Filipina facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, a Palace official said yesterday.Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government was moving within Indonesia’s legal framework to spare Mary Jane Veloso from death.Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario continues to exhaust all legal avenues to save Veloso from execution, Valte said.The Indonesian Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the government’s …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Bulacan, Bataan are top Lenten destinations

    MALOLOS, Bulacan – With the expected Holy Week exodus of Catholic devotees to various pilgrimage sites in Bulacan, Bataan and other provinces near Metro Manila, local and provincial officials have coordinated with security and emergency response teams to address the influx of visitors.Among the pilgrimage sites in Bulacan that are often visited by travelers are the Divine Mercy Shrine in the town of Marilao; the procession of saints in Baliwag; the Banal na Bundok with the Stations of the Cross …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR , BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options