Killing of Grade 12 boy raises fears among Baguio students
MANILA, Philippines – Students in Baguio City voiced their concerns over the recent killing of Vaughn Dicang, a Grade 12 student who was reported missing on September 1.
Vaughn Dicang's body was found in a creek on Thursday, September 7.
"Nung nabasa ko 'yung balita, nagulat ako. Hindi na kasi ito 'yung Baguio na dinatnan ko. Hindi na ako panatag na maglakad sa labas tuwing gabi dahil baka maulit lang ang trahedyang ito," Isabel Shafa told Rappler.
(I was shocked after reading the news. This is not the Baguio that found before. I don't feel safe going outside at night anymore because the incident might happen again.)
Hannah Faye G. Cacayorin, a University of the Philippines-Baguio student, felt similarly.
In an interview, Cacayorin described that before President Rodrigo Duterte took his oath on June 2016, Baguio City felt very safe. Now, however, crimes appear to have significantly increased, making it unsafe for teens to roam around the city without a companion, especially at night.
"What happened to Vaughn is really frightening and saddening at the same time. The recent killings are very alarming, especially (since) many victims are from the youth sector," Sean David Marco, also a UP Baguio student, remarked.
He added that even though this latest killing may seem like an isolated case from the ones in Manila, Filipinos must still call for justice and condemn the killings that are happening in the country.
"We must stay vigilant on the actions of the current administration regarding these cases especially as this is not the safe Philippines they have promised us," Marco said.
At the University of the Philippines-Baguio Campus, the Oblation statue was covered in black and red to condemn the killing of Dicang.
While speculation regarding linking the case to the killings of Kian delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz, and Reynaldo de Guzman are circulating on social media, Baguio City police chief Senior Superintendent Ramil Saculles urged the public to avoid accusing the police as the perpetrators of the Grade 12 boy's untimely death.
Currently, an autopsy is being conducted to determine Vaughn Dicang's cause of death. (READ: Except for killings, all crimes drop in Duterte's 1st year) — With reports from Cielo Marie L. Esmeria /Rappler.com