Grade 9 student dies after being brutally beat by classmate, family cries for justice

  • 14-year-old student died after classmate brutally beat him with a hard object
  • Mother of slain student crying for justice, angry at assailant’s mother for hiding him
  • She also said assailant belonged to a fraternity that was using marijuana

MANILA, Philippines – A mother is crying for justice after her 14-year-old son died following a brutal beating from one of his classmates.

John Mark Cortuna, a 14-year-old student of the San Pedro Relocation Center National High School, was brutally beaten with a steel object by a classmate as he was playing inside the campus on September 8. While the beating initially left him with only a visibly swollen right eye, Cortuna was rushed to the Philippine General Hospital on September 12 after complaining of body pains.

A day later, he was declared brain dead and passed away shortly thereafter.

According to the autopsy report, Cortuna suffered a cardiac arrest due to traumatic injuries to his head, chest and abdomen as a result of the mauling.

Cortuna’s mother Joan told ABS-CBN the assailant used an “asero” to beat her son up. She also denied that John Mark challenged his classmate to a fight.

“Ang anak ko daw ang nanghamon, eh malaking tao siya sir,” she said.

[They say my son was the one who challenged him, how could it be as his classmate was big.]

Blasting the mother of the assailant for assisting in his escape, Mrs. Cortuna also said the former belonged to a fraternity whose members were allegedly into drugs.

“May fraternity po sila sa high school, ‘Pamilya Pasaway’”, she said. “Ang sabi ng kaklase, marijuana ang ginagamit.”

[They have a fraternity in high school, ‘Pamilya Pasaway’. Their classmates say they are using marijuana.]

The Cortuna family, school and local officials are urging the assailant and whoever else was involved in John Mark’s beating to surface and give themselves up.

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