Student councils raise alarm on threatening texts vs SLU, UP students
MANILA, Philippines – Student councils of the Saint Louis University (SLU) and the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) on Tuesday sounded the alarm on attacks against its students after it had received reports of a series of threatening text messages.
In a Facebook post, the SLU Supreme Student Council shared screenshots of the alarming messages from a still-unidentified sender that was brought to their attention.
The messages insinuated that SLU and UPB students who were opposing the government needed to prepare for a looming attack from the sender’s group.
It also mentioned that the sender’s group was already inside the SLU campus, ready to inflict harm and injury to the students.
In the wake of these circulating threats, the SLU SSC said it “vehemently condemns this crackdown against the progressive youth.”
“These acts of fascism must end now. We are one in the call to defend democracy and uphold our human rights,” it added.
The SLU SSC later noted that it has since coordinated with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to safeguard the university students and personnel.
“Due diligence by the University has been and is currently being implemented to ensure the safety of all involved. Discernment has been done as to the threat, the risks and the actual situation on campus,” it said.
The UPB Student Council, meanwhile, echoed the sentiment of the SLU SSC, saying it “condemns this form of harassment aimed at terrorizing [their] students.”
“As a University, we encourage our students to engage in the discourse for social justice to serve as catalysts for change. As a democratic society, we should be open to varied perspectives and seek solutions to achieve inclusive development,” it said in a separate Facebook post.
It then reiterated its stance against the “malicious labelling and threats against freedom of expression.”
Cops deployed to SLU
Police Lieutenant Angeline Dongpaen, public information officer of the Baguio City Police Office, confirmed that Special Weapons and Tactics officers from PNP Cordillera were deployed Tuesday morning to secure the SLU campus amid the hounding threats.
“Tumawag naman po ang SLU sa amin, siyempre, for their security din, so iyon nga po, nag-deploy tayo kaninang umaga agad,” Dongpaen told INQUIRER.net over the phone.
(Representatives from the SLU called us and, of course, for their security, we immediately deployed personnel this morning.)
She said they have likewise coordinated with their Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit to validate the texts and trace their source.
“Although hindi natin masasabi na ang threat ay joke joke lang, we have to show na may malasakit tayo doon sa school kasi iyong nararamdaman nila – hindi naman lahat ay kalmado kapag may ganoong threat. Kaya we have to show sa school, to the community na concerned tayo sitwasyon,” Dongpaen added.
(Although we can’t say that these threats were only a joke, we must show the school that we care for them. Not everyone can remain calm when faced with threats of this nature, so we must show the school, and the community that we are concerned about the situation.)
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