Philosophy over coffee

Ateneo TA found dead

In On Headlines, Size: Tall on July 1, 2008 at 6:00 pm

I saw this report from my INQ email update by accident, because I usually don’t read what’s in it. I tried to remember who he is but no face I can recall. Apparently, he’s from the same batch and from the same school. SOM, ME, 2006.

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Ateneo teaching assistant found dead in schoolroom

Cops find signs victim killed himself

By Marlon Ramos
First Posted 03:29:00 07/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines – A teaching assistant of Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) was found dead on the campus Monday in what the police said was a case of suicide.

The body of Jose Lorenzo Tan, 24, was discovered by a utility worker in a room at the Department of Philosophy at around 6 a.m., according to a report from the Quezon City Police District’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (QCPD-CIDU).

AdMU watchmen told the police that Tan, a resident of Cubao, Quezon City, went inside the building at around 2 p.m. Sunday and told them he was working on an assignment. As a teaching assistant, Tan’s main task at the department was to conduct research.

The report said the victim, who was enrolled in AdMU’s Graduate School, could have died of suffocation following the discovery of burnt pieces of charcoal in his room.

QCPD-CIDU investigators said they found the room’s windows, door and other openings covered with plastic bags and cellophane, apparently to ensure that “the smoke coming from the charcoal would not escape.”

One of the policemen on the case said they found in Tan’s laptop several stories from the Internet about the harmful effects of charcoal smoke.

Probers said they were checking information that it was the victim’s third attempt to take his own life.

Relatives described Tan as “a loner but very intelligent.” Police added that Tan’s family also told them he was “obsessed” with philosophical readings that espoused suicide.

An official statement from AdMU said Tan, who graduated from the school in 2006 with a management engineering degree, “had been feeling depressed for some time and investigation showed that he took his own life. The family requests that their privacy be respected at this time.”

Sonia Araneta, head of the university’s Communication and Public Relations Office, declined to give more details on the incident.

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