Teacher sustains multiple gunshot wounds after being ambushed in front of students in Bukidnon

A public school teacher was badly injured after she was shot four times yesterday morning by masked gunmen in Valencia City, in Bukidnon province.

Four assailants attacked married teachers Zhaydee Cabañelez and Ramil Cabañelez at 8am at Dalit Elementary School, where they both work, Rappler reports.

The ambush occurred during the school’s flag ceremony, right in front of their students, although none of the children were harmed. Valencia City police chief Colonel Surki Sereñas said that Zhaydee was hit, but her husband escaped unscathed.

Zhaydee was rushed to the Adventist Medical Center for treatment and is now in stable condition, according to GMA News. Nine .45 caliber bullet casings were found at the crime scene.

The victim sustained two gunshot wounds to the chest and another two to her feet, Bulatlat reported.

A member of the party-list group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Zhaydee won the 2016 Outstanding Teacher Award in her village.  In a statement, ACT condemned the vicious attack against her and her husband.

“We will not let Teacher Zhaydee be just another figure in the growing list of victims of violence, extrajudicial killings, and rights violation of Duterte’s state policy of killing the poor and the masses who are fighting for their rights,” ACT said in a statement. “We call on DepEd to exhaust all measures to bring justice to Teacher Zhaydee and her family. We challenge Pres. Duterte… to address the growingly brazen attacks and worsening impunity in Mindanao since he put it under Martial Law.”

Colonel Sereñas said they are investigating unconfirmed reports that Zhaydee is the daughter of Zaldy Bitago, an alleged member of the armed communist group New People’s Army. The Valencia City police are still investigating the motive behind the shooting.

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