MANILA Mayor Lito Atienza assured the Dominican community and the University that the city government is keen on preventing crimes around the campus perimeter after the killing of a College of Rehabilitation Sciences student early this month.

The Dominican community invited Atienza, a College of Architecture alumnus, in a meeting at the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas last March 14 to discuss Manila’s security measures following the death of Sports Science sophomore Randall Von Antolin last March 4. He is the second UST student to die at the hands of robbers this school year. Nursing sophomore Jef Marty Longyapon was shot at pointblank range when he refused to give his bag to robbers on Lacson Avenue last year.

Father Rector Tamerlane Lana, O.P., who was present during the meeting, said Atienza was bent on stabilizing the peace and order situation around the campus.

“Every time we (Dominican Fathers) raise an issue, he (Atienza) would tell his men what to do like put up lights, among other things,” Lana told the Varsitarian.

Police investigators said Antolin, 18, was shot by two unidentified men riding a blue scooter about 7:45 PM. Antolin, who was walking along P. Noval Street, was held up at knifepoint by the robbers near I. delos Santos Street. Antolin was able to run away but the thieves chased and shot him. The robbers, who were not able to take anything away, escaped on board the scooter.

Antolin was rushed by responding policemen to the UST Hospital about 15 minutes after the incident. He died while undergoing treatment.

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Atienza berated city and police officials for not following his instructions to light up the four streets surrounding the UST campus. After the Longyapon robbery-slay incident last October, the city government repaired and installed flood lights on Lacson Avenue and Dapitan Street.

He also told Manila Police Department Station 4 Commander Senior Superintendent Bernardo Diaz that he would be relieved if the crimes around the University belt area are not contained.

“I will use every ounce of my powers over the police, limited as they are, if the situation here in UST does not improve,” Atienza said.

He also ordered the deployment of a civilian auxiliary group to boost police visibility in the area. The Peacemakers, a unit organized by the Manila City Government, are plain-clothed men who are detailed around the campus perimeter.

Diaz said he has placed two policemen to patrol around the campus and the surrounding area.

“It just so happened that the police detailed at España Boulevard that night received a call that a crime was happening at the Gastambide area,” Diaz said. “The police responded to the call that is why they left.”

Lana said he hopes that the peace and order situation around the campus improves after the meeting with the mayor.

“On our part, the best thing we can do is to work with city officials,” Lana said. “We could not just leave them alone, we should also do our part (in watching out for crime).”

The Fathers also proposed that the UST campus be placed under the jurisdiction of one barangay. Today, four barangays has jurisdiction over some parts of the campus, making it hard to guard against criminal elements.

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Atienza said the proposal is possible but it will take time because of the tedious legal processes that includes reclassification of the area, enactment of the reclassification ordinance, and a plebiscite. April Dawn Jennifer C. Adriatico and Miko L. Morelos

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