CdO’s Xavier University sounds alarm on crime; afternoon, night classes back to online
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Xavier University (XU) – Ateneo de Cagayan here has temporarily shifted to online all in-person classes scheduled from late afternoon to evening due to worries about crime in the city.
Juliet Dalagan, the university’s vice president for higher education, said the shift to online classes will be from Sept. 1 to Sept. 9, although she said that the resumption of in-person classes will be “based on the objective evaluation of the situation.”
Dalagan cited that the decision was arrived at “in light of the alarming criminal cases in the city.”
The move came after Roland Camanse, 30, a habal-habal driver was stabbed to death on Wednesday along Hayes Street, just outside the campus, and a few meters away from a police precinct.
The incident started with a brawl among habal-habal drivers fighting for passengers that suddenly turned deadly.
“With the number of growing visible cases of crimes and violence in the city, the XU-CSG (Central Student Government) calls on the local government to release a steady and concrete plan as a response to these incidents,” a statement from student leaders read.
They asked that the respective leaderships of the local government and police “put their highest attention to these growing cases of criminal violence.”
Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Rolando Uy, in a statement on Friday said he was “deeply concerned” by XU’s suspension of face-to-face classes.
Uy invited the XU community to a dialogue to see how they can work together to ensure every student’s safety, as well as come into common understanding about the real security situation in the city.
Lt. Col. Surki Sereñas, deputy city police director for operations, debunked the notion of growing criminality in the city, saying the opposite is true.
Police records showed that from January to July this year, the average count of crimes against persons and property, or so-called index crimes, was 10 per week.
This went down to seven per week in the first three weeks of August, and further to three in the fourth week when the city culminated its month-long Higalaay or Friendship Festival, in time for the feast of St. Augustine on Aug. 28.
Last July, there was growing public perception of a crime wave, but Sereñas said it was due to highly publicized criminal incidents, and not because of actual increase in crime volume.
Sereñas said that a suspect on the suspect in the Aug. 31 killing near XU is already being pursued.
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