DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones’ Statement on the Drug-related Slay of Two Female Students
As former chairperson of the Silliman University’s Board of Trustees and as the current Secretary of Education, I strongly decry the senseless and violent murder of two innocent female students last Sunday, April 2, in Siquijor.
The unnecessary demise of these two young lives dramatizes the need to support the government’s campaign against the use of illegal drugs.
Both victims, 17-year-old Loreen Ramirez and 21-year-old Jan Nicole “Nikki” Piñero, went to Siquijor to show support for their boyfriends who were both participants in an international longboard competition. Loreen, who was from Makati, attended the event to watch her boyfriend, a foreign exchange student at Silliman. Nikki was the only daughter of Silliman faculty member Prof. Dionesio Piñero.
The suspect, Michael Añabesa Manayon, was also a participant of the same contest and a known user of illegal substances. Originally targeting Loreen’s boyfriend, Manayon repeatedly stabbed her instead. He eventually stabbed Nikki, who merely rushed to help her friend, on the jugular vein and slaughtered her like a pig - all during a fit of delusion and rage triggered by his drug-addled mind.
While much attention has been placed on the human rights of drug users, pushers, and financiers, not much focus was given to the victims and their families whose lives were destroyed as a result of the careless, mindless, and selfish choices of these addicts.
To support the drive against the menace of drugs, the Department of Education is strengthening its National Drug Education Program (NDEP), which creates age-appropriate awareness among students as early as the age of nine. This is DepEd’s continuous commitment to prevent drug use and abuse among learners and to curb the many drug-related incidents in the country.
We call on communities, universities, church institutions, societies, and all organizations involved in the anti-illegal drugs campaign to join hands for the sake of all innocent victims. Heinous and horrific crimes such as this do not have a place in a country that seeks to protect and promote the welfare of the its people, much more preserve the lives of the innocent.