MANILA, Philippines – A political science professor was attacked and robbed by a group of unidentified men on Thursday, October 17, in a parking lot at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
Political science faculty member Perlita Frago was attacked at around 4:30 pm before she could even get inside her car parked across Palma Hall, according to a note posted on the Facebook page of the University Student Council.
The note is attributed to College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Dean Michael Tan.
Frago’s hands were reportedly tied, as the suspects drove her car around the campus while taking her belongings. They dropped her at the same park lot.
Palma Hall is one of the most well-known and frequented buildings in Diliman.
It was not the first time a crime happened on campus.
The UP administration has yet to release a statement on the incident involving Frago.
UP Diliman, a 493-hectare campus encompassing 7 barangays and hosting not less than 120,000 people at any given time, is known for being accessible. The vast greenery of the campus attracts families and joggers, even those not from UP, especially during weekends.
Despite security measures – such as requiring of university identification cards upon entry and the deployment of security service brigade (SSB) in several key areas – there are still a number of incidents that happened inside the campus throughout the years.
In 2012, political science student Lordei Hina was stabbed several times in the head during a robbery attempt inside Vinzons Hall.
The suspects introduced themselves as members of a tattoo artists’ organization inquiring about setting up a booth at the annual UP Fair. Hina is still recovering.
In January this year, a pillbox explosion hit two members of the maintenance team. Despite many speculations surrounding the incident, the person who planted the explosive device and the motive behind it are still unknown.
Several cases involving students as victims have also been reported to the UP Police, ranging from theft to robbery. Several colleges have opted to install CCTV systems inside their buildings to heighten security.
Tan had reportedly asked Diliman Chancellor Caesar Saloma to have additional lamp posts installed and security personnel deployed in the area.
The dean also informed Saloma of concern about street children “loitering in different places on campus,” often begging from faculty, students and visitors.”
Initial reports indicate that Frago was distracted by a street kid before she could get onto her car.
The robbery incident has already been reported. – Jodesz Gavilan and Jee Geronimo/Rappler.com