MANILA – Officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman have yet to take action on security concerns in the campus, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chair Prospero de Vera said.

Tameme kahit nanakawan: CHED chair complains UP snubbed his security concerns

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MANILA – Officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman have yet to take action on security concerns in the campus, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chair Prospero de Vera said.

“Wala (None). Burglaries in my house and my vehicles on the street…no report, no action,” he told the Philippine News Agency on Thursday evening when asked whether there was an update on his report from the previous year.

De Vera was referring to a Facebook post in December 2019 of an employee and a graduate student, Peps Dizon, who was attacked by a teenager and y four others.

In his post titled ‘We are Not Safe On This Campus’, Dizon said he was a victim of an attempted robbery but was able to repel the culprits by fighting back and screaming.

When de Vera shared the post in 2019, he said he had repeatedly raised this concern to the authorities in UP but was dismissed, as they said: “There is no security problem in UP Diliman”.

“Worse, they even assert I am making claims of security issues here,” he added.

De Vera said the last time they had a discussion on heeding concerns of the students, as well as the residents in UP campus, was in 2020.

“No. These are administrative matters under the jurisdiction of the UP Diliman Chancellor who was Michael Tan. I have discussed this in the UP Board of Regents, no clear resolution,” he said when asked what overruling powers the CHED has in safety concerns.

De Vera’s remarks came in the wake of the termination of the 1989 accord between the Department of National Defense (DND) and UP that bars police and military inside UP campuses without prior notice.

In a statement, de Vera said the DND-UP Accord is “rich in intention but short on details, and is therefore prone to differing interpretations.”

“Yet the stakes on the lives and the future of students and schools are high. The vitriol unleashed in social media does not benefit anyone except those with a political agenda,” the commission underscored in its statement.

De Vera also called on the DND, UP and all higher education institutions to exercise sobriety and to allow their office to call on everyone concerned to jointly discuss the issues, “especially when everyone has the same goals of student protection, academic freedom, and promotion of education – all embodied in no less than the Constitution itself.”

“In the next few days, I will be constituting a Panel of Education Experts to define the meaning of academic freedom and the role of security forces in the protection of academic freedom and the welfare of students. Courts have long drawn and placed judicial tests and standards to protect free speech and academic freedom, and we can be guided by them,” de Vera said.

Back story

After recovering from the injuries he sustained during the attack, Dizon shared a list of what he wishes the UP administration would consider in the same post.

Among these was the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras as he said there are none in the area.

“Standard operating procedure (SOP) of Security Personnel. I thank the 2 guards from Archaeo for their quick response when I shouted. But I felt that their SOP was lacking. None of them offered to assist me to visit the health service to check my condition as I was already bleeding a lot. I don’t know if I was the one who needed to request it first but I think it must be an SOP. The only request I asked was for them to drive me to my residence which one guard offered. Another thing, when they tried to catch the suspects they were on motorcycles. They might also have their guns with them. Suspects were just running. Other security guards are also stationed in Fine Arts, CMO, SPMO, etc. How come they were not able to enforce their power and coordination?” he added.

He also hopes that the university will improve their services “because they are procuring their services for millions”. (PNA)

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POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

Lodi si Win? Migz Zubiri ribs Vico Sotto over lack of love life

Does Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto want to follow in the footsteps of bachelor Senator Sherwin Gatchalian?

Sotto’s lack of love life became the subject of senators’ ribbing Monday (March 1) when the mayor went to the Senate to personally receive the Senate’s commendation for being named as one of the United States government’s anti-corruption champions.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri acknowledged that “honest to goodness public service” can sometimes cause a politiko’s love life to take a backseat.

“Kaya ang payo ko kay Mayor Vico, huwag nyang kalimutan yung private life lalong lalo na ang kanyang love life…” Zubiri said, adding that he also got married late due to work.

“ O baka gusto po nyang e-idolize ang ating pambansang bachelor ng Senado, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian…” the senator added.

The 46-year-old Gatchalian is currently in a relationship with actress Bianca Manalo.

Sotto’s uncle, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, joked that there are “many applicants” for the role of the mayor’s girlfriend.

The 30-year-old politiko has said he doesn’t have time to find a girlfriend because of the demands of his work in government.

Parang Duterte lang: Lorenzana declines Sinovac vaccine due to old age

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana won’t be getting vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine donated by China.

And the reason for his decision? Lorezana is too old to get the Chinese-developed vaccine, which has not been recommended by local drug regulators for senior citizens.

The country’s defense actually volunteered to show leadership by example but learned he can’t be get the Sinovac vaccine due to his old age. Lorenzana is 72 years old.

“I wanted to be the first to receive the Sinovac vaccine in DND to build trust and confidence among personnel but health experts advised that those over 59 should not be vaccinated. Besides, the front liners will have first priority,” he tweeted on February 28.

In another tweet, Lorenzana said he was informed that he was not qualified for the Sinovac vaccines.

The Chinese-made vaccines have not been recommended for health workers and seniors by the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to varying efficacy rates.

“I volunteered to be among the first to be vaccinated but was told that I’m not qualified based on Sinovac’s age limit (18-59). I wanted to lead by example to not cast doubt against Sinovac and hopefully bring confidence among DND personnel,” he said in a later tweet.

Although he passed up the vaccine line, Lorenzana attended the rollout of the vaccines for intended health workers in military hospitals as well as Department of National Defense personnel Monday, March 1.

“All is set for today’s rollout, with 100,000 doses allocated for DND Personnel. 29,040 of which are for the health workers of the Veterans and VLuna medical centers, military and civilian staff of the DND-Proper,” he said.



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