By KAREN RENEE NOGOY and KATHERINE CHAN
THE UNIVERSITY will enhance security measures to ensure the safety of Thomasians in the wake of successive reports about criminal incidents in Metro Manila and nearby areas.
“We continue to be vigilant and proactive in addressing issues that are detrimental to our safety and security, not just when we have events, but throughout the academic year,” UST Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Louie Coronel O.P. told The Flame.
The University through its Safety and Security Office will deploy perimeter roving guards and implement heightened security around the campus.
Coronel said UST is also closely coordinating with the Manila city government and the police to ensure the safety and security of its students and other stakeholders within and around the campus.
The University installed spotlights at the back of Albertus Magnus and Roque Ruaño buildings along the stretch of A.H. Lacson Street with the help of the Barbosa Police Station 14 and Manila City engineers on Aug. 18.
“Security measures in the University have always been put in place and well-coordinated internally with the security force of the University, the UST Hospital, and the Santísimo Rosario Parish as well as externally with the barangay officials, Office of the Mayor, and Manila Police District (MPD),” Coronel said.
In a briefing held Aug. 21, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna ordered the deployment of police officers to the University Belt area, including the area of UST.
“Repressive” patrolling of police tactical motorcycle riders is being done and police assistance desks and tarpaulins containing the Manila Police District emergency hotline numbers are installed within the University’s vicinity.
Coronel advised Thomasians to “genuinely comply with security measures” when entering the campus by presenting their ID cards and bags for random inspection.
Students and alumni are also expected to accomplish their health declaration forms through ThOMedSS and StaySafe.PH.
Despite reports of kidnapping, rape, and murder incidents in the past weeks, the Philippine National Police (PNP) assured the public that the country’s peace and order situation is stable. PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. even claimed that crimes decreased by 5.85 percent during the time of former president Rodrigo Duterte.
Azurin also urged the public to be vigilant about the surge of crime-related posts on social media, saying many of them are either recycled or fake.
“Other purported crime incidents posted in social media turned out to be either rehashed or completely false information. The PNP would like to do our part in educating our people to be more discerning of the true situation, particularly on crime matters, and be able to distinguish between crime hike and crime hype,” the police chief said. F