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MARAWI CITY, 16 January -- A three-classroom building of Marawi Central Pilot Elementary School, the oldest public elementary school in Marawi City, razed to the ground at nine in the evening Thursday, leaving only the roof and concrete posts and walls to remain standing.

All files, records, and facilities inside the building were burned.

School officials estimated the damage to be more than P200T.

School Principal Ramla Paporo said nothing has been left of all the facilities inside the building which is called MCPES Building 1.

She said the building is also called Demonstration Building because it has complete facilities. It accommodated Grade V and Grade VI pupils.

“Now the problem is where to hold the classes of these elementary pupils,” she worried.

But the principal has been consoled by the pledge of Congressman Hooky Adiong to help in the immediate reconstruction of the building and for any others he could help.

Bringing along with him two fire tracks , Adiong was the first Muslim leader who came to the incident, she said.

Residents around the vicinity believed it was arson. Even school officials suspected the burning of the building was intentionally done and may be related to what they called “leadership crisis” in the schools division of Marawi City.

However, police said it is too early to conclude if it is indeed arson as no witness has come forward to reveal any suspect.

District Supervisor Anisah Guro of the city division’s Central District where the school is located in an exclusive interview said for four years that she has been the district supervisor, the school is peaceful.

“It is only now that this happens,” Guro said. She said it is not easy to pinpoint any suspect but she suspected this has something to do with the district office hosting the City Schools Division Sub-Office within the school.

Guro said the incident might be related to the rift between Schools Division Superintendent Mona A. Macatanong and Assistant Schools Division Superintedent Anna Zenaida Unte whom she accommodated to hold office in her district per instruction of DepEd Assistant Secretary John Magno.

Unte occupies the conference hall of the district office.

The rift in the city division started back mid last year when Macatanong was ordered to retire from office and leave the division by the regional office. She however defied the order when she obtained restraining order and injunction from the court as her legal basis to stay in office.

The DepEd Order also designated Assistant Schools Division Superintedent Pharida Sansarona as OIC of the city division. As Macatanong did not vacate the division, Sansarona had to hold office at the North District office at Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School.

Sansarona’s office is now called Satellite Office.

This year, a new order from Magno strengthened the designation of Unte as ASDS and asked her to hold an office at the Central District. Unte’s office is called Sub-Office of the Division.

The existing of a Sub-Office and Satellite office per order of the regional office has been construed as a divide and rule policy of DepEd-ARMM.

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