PNP: 1,624 crime incidents recorded in Barangay UP Campus in past 4 years
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde underscored on Wednesday the need for the limited presence of police officers inside the University of the Philippines (UP), citing a total of 1,624 crime incidents recorded in Barangay UP Campus alone.
Citing data from January 2016 to August 2019, Albayalde said that of these crime incidents, 186 are related to illegal drugs and 12 are cases of rape.
The 493-hectare land of UP Diliman covers eight barangays in Quezon City: UP Campus, Krus na Ligas, San Vicente, Botocan, Culiat, Old Capitol Site, Pansol and Vasra. Within these areas are informal communities.
“The chairman of the CHED (Commission on Higher Education) was right that they (authorities in UP) cannot even address the problem of illegal drugs,” Albayalde said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, citing other crimes.
In 1989, an agreement was signed by then UP President Jose Abueva and then Defense Secretary Fidel Ramos that prohibits the presence of police and military in its campuses without prior coordination with the university president, chancellor or dean.
The agreement stems from the original Soto-Enrile accord signed in 1982 during the martial law period by student leader Sonia Soto and then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile to protect the university from military intervention, especially during protests.
But according to Albayalde, “it is written under that agreement that nothing stipulated therein can be construed as a prohibition against the implementation of the law of the land.”
“So what this means is if there is crime inside, [we can still come in]. It’s only for the maintenance of peace and order. It’s not above the law of the land,” he said.
Albayalde said that currently, UP Diliman has 240 guards securing the university, a figure he said is not enough to cover the large land area covered by the premier state university.
He said that the security officers inside UP also do not have authority to file cases or make arrests, which means they still have to go to the police should crime incidents happen inside.
“This is not militarization, This is maintenance of peace and order in the barangay. As I have said earlier, the PNP is the main implementer of the laws of the land,” he said.
The proposal to allow police and military officers inside universities was aired by Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa, a former PNP chief, to raise the awareness of students on the advocacies of the government amid alleged rising recruitment of the youth to the New People’s Army. /je
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