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National

CHED backs probe of U.P. Manila student's death

A faculty member of the University of the Philippines in Manila holds a note from Kristel Tejada during a candle-lighting activity at the campus on Friday, March 15, 2013. Bernard Testa/Interaksyon.com

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines  -- The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Saturday said it would support a "full investigation" into the death of Kristel Tejada, a student from the University of the Philippines-Manila. 

"CHED supports a full investigation into the death of Kristel," Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said in a statement released by the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson.

"It further supports and is involved in efforts to rationalize tuition fees as well as financial assistance to students particularly in state colleges and universities," she noted.

Kristel Tejada, 16, a freshman Behavioral Science student, killed herself at around 7 a.m. Friday, according to the Manila Collegian.

The UP Manila's official student publication said "financial constraints may have triggered the suicide as Tejada was forced to file for leave of absence last Wednesday."

Tejada is the eldest of five children of a taxi driver and a housewife.

"The death of Kristel Tejada is a terrible tragedy," said Licuanan.

"I deeply sympathize with her parents on the death of their daughter as well as with the University of the Philippines and all of us for losing someone so young and promising."

Meanwhile, the CHED chair took a swipe at politicians who may be using the death of Tejada in advancing their own political agenda.

This, as some lawmakers released statements in reaction to the UP Manila student's death.

"Suicide is always complex and must be approached with great sensitivity," said Licuanan.

"Simplistic speculation on cause does not help anyone. And using Kristel's apparent suicide to serve a political platform, no matter how valid, is unconscionable," she stressed.

 

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