MANILA, Philippines—Tighter security measures were being sought at the University of the Philippines–Los Baños in the generally peaceful town in Laguna province after a female college student was murdered near the vicinity of the campus.
UPLB Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Dr. Virginia Cardenas said that although they had police and security personnel in the campus, they still worried for their students as the UPLB community was “heterogeneous and open to outsiders.”
But worries were not kept just within the university grounds as many students also lived off-campus.
She said that this has led them to coordinate closely with barangay captains and local authorities, who were likely to be able to keep an eye out for the students who live in areas “na hindi na sakop (ng UPLB).”
UPLB is “working to intensify security not only within campus but also in (neighboring) communities,” added Cardenas.
Aside from making sure sidewalks and pathways inside the campus were well-lighted, Cardenas said that they planned on building and opening more dormitories to accommodate their students, so that they could at least be monitored easily.
She said that they placed many benches and “tambayans” all over the university grounds in the hopes that these would prevent students from leaving the campus for group meetings and discussions.
“Safety starts from them,” said the vice chancellor, reminding students to avoid “opening themselves to opportunities of hazards… (and) lawless people.”
She advised students to always organize their schedule and make sure they don’t walk home alone, especially after dark.
The UPLB Community has condemned the murder of Given Grace Cebanico.
She was found dead last Tuesday, sprawled in a canal along the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) Road, Barangay Putho-Tuntungin, near the boundary of the university campus and the International Rice Research Institute.