THE UNIVERSITY has amped up security around the campus amid increasing reports of criminal activity around the university belt (U-Belt), according to UST Secretary General Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P.

Coronel told the Varsitarian that UST had deployed perimeter-roving guards and installed spotlights on Lacson street to help deter crime. 

Coronel also said that the University security officers were coordinating with nearby barangays and the Manila city government for assistance. 

“Security measures in the University have always been put in place and well-coordinated internally with the security force of the UST Hospital and Santísimo Rosario Parish as well as externally with the barangay officials, Office of the Mayor and Manila Police District,” Coronel said.

Coronel said Thomasians and visitors should comply with security measures when visiting the campus, such as the presentation of IDs and bags for inspection and health declaration via the ThOMedSS and StaySafe.PH applications.

“We continue to be vigilant and proactive in addressing issues that are detrimental to our safety and security, not just when we have events, but throughout the academic year,” Coronel said.

Social media was recently abuzz with reports of alleged criminal activity around university campuses in Manila.

In a Facebook post, Julius Oliveras of the UST Faculty of Engineering said he witnessed suspicious activity on Lacson Avenue near UST Gate 14 last Aug. 19.

He said that he saw a man give a piece of paper to a girl walking near the campus and then take out something that allegedly looked like a knife. 

“I was nervous and I was even more nervous for the girl,” Oliveras said in an interview with the Varsitarian. “So, I walked faster to get closer to their place and in case the guy did something to her.”

Ramping up police presence

Police Lt. Col. Ramon Nazario, station commander at Barbosa Police Station in Quiapo, told the Varsitarian that they had increased police surveillance around UST following reports of theft and lascivious behavior.

“Actually, natanggap namin ‘yan [reports], may mga nag-forward sa amin,” Nazario said. “Ang action na ginagawa natin diyan ay nagdagdag tayo ng police visibility.”

“Bukod doon, meron tayong mobile na […] iniikot talaga ang paligid ng UST, ‘yung Lacson, Dapitan, P. Noval at España,” he added.

Nazario said students and parents could find tarpaulins with QR codes containing the police’s contact information and safety reminders posted around the gates of UST.

“Nag-iwan kami ng bawat contact number sa bawat gwardya sa gate, then nag-post kami ng tarpaulin para lahat ng students o parents, pwede nilang i-scan ‘yung QR code,” he said. “Nakalagay doon [sa QR code] ano gagawin para iwas madukutan o ma-snatchan.”

Barbosa Police Station can be reached at (02) 8723-2708 or (02) 8520-1791. The Varsitarian has also been authorized by Police Lt. Col. Nazario to publish his mobile number. He can be reached at 0955-085-0752. Both lines are open 24/7


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