THE DEATH of Nursing sophomore Marty Longyapon’s in the hands of robbers two weeks ago at the corner of P. Florentino St. and A.H. Lacson Ave proves that crime prevention and law enforcement around the University is truly lamentable.

An hour before the robbery with homicide case of Longyapon, which happened at around 7:50 p.m., the UST Security Force members were busy following up an alleged robbery of another UST student in Asturias St. Almost simultaneous with the Longyapon incident, a classmate of mine from the Faculty of Civil Law warded off a robbery attempt from a motorcycle-riding man who attempted to take away her bag a few blocks from the University. The Varsitarian also learned that police investigators had asked Longyapon’s companion that night to identify a man arrested for a robbery in Laong Laan St. on the same night.

The spate of robbery incidents around UST reflects the poor visibility of law enforcers in the area which emboldens the criminal elements.

Measures should be taken in order to stop robbery and theft around the University and the U-Belt Area.

Containing criminality, especially robbery and theft incidents, should be a concerted effort between the UST Security Force, the U-Belt Area police, and the tanods of the barangays that have territorial jurisdiction of UST.

If I’m not mistaken, talks have been held in the past between the U-Belt consortium members and the police regarding security matters. I guess the ideas never left the board room. Or if they did, the ningas cogon attitude set in.

It is nice to indulge in planning security measures. But those measures should not remain as plans. Security measures should be strictly enforced with consistency, meaning the law enforcers should not only tighten up in an area after an incident has occurred. These evildoers strike when least expected to catch the law enforcers off guard. Crime prevention is the solution.

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Student magna carta underway

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Reports reaching the Varsitarian revealed that there was only one policeman (the desk officer) on duty in the U-Belt Area police detachment when the Longyapon incident occurred. The reason: the rest of the police force was busy containing and dispersing the anti-government rally that Friday night near Mendiola.

Obviously, the policeman cannot leave his post to answer the call of duty since no one will be left to man the detachment. The morale of the story: the next time there will be a mass demonstration in Manila, the Philippine National Police should be more judicious in dispatching its men. While protesters must be checked by anti-riot policemen, criminals should not be left unchallenged and students and other civilians, unprotected.

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