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Trigger warning: Sexual violence
MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman announced plans to enhance its CCTV surveillance system in response to a recent sexual assault incident that occurred on campus last Saturday evening, July 1.
UP Chancellor Edgardo Vistan II said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday, July 5, that the focus will now be on identifying and addressing the hotspots on campus, while also reviving discussions about the installation of more CCTVs.
“I think the right approach will be to focus on hotspots and to revive the discussions about the CCTVs in campus,” Vistan said.
“There are security concerns and the Big Brother, the anti-Big Brother mentality of certain sectors. I think we will be forgiven if we put CCTVs there,” he added.
For now, Vistan is unsure how many more CCTVs are needed in order to better secure the 400-hectare campus.
According to Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Brigadier General Nicolas Torre III, the assault took place on Ylanan Road, where a nearby event with a loudspeaker was happening.
Despite the victim’s cries for help, her voice was likely drowned out by the noise from the event. According to police, the attacker used a bladed weapon during the assault.
“We have a rough idea of the person’s identity. He is believed to be in the area. Our police, along with the security forces, are conducting a thorough search for the suspect,” Torre said.
Torre added, “the victim reported being pulled into a creek. Both she and the assailant fell, resulting in bruises and wounds.”
Regarding the UP-DND accord, Torre mentioned that the Philippine National Police (PNP) currently has no plans to question it.
However, he expressed openness to conducting a review of the accord, saying in Filipino, “A review would be beneficial. Nevertheless, at present, we have no issues with the current setup. We appreciate the efforts of the UP police in ensuring the safety of students, which lessens the burden on us.”
The UP-DND accord is an agreement with the Philippine government that bars state forces from entering campus. The UP’s flagship campus has its own police force.
The goal for adding the CCTVs is to strengthen campus safety and provide a deterrent to potential criminals, as well as, to assist law enforcement in investigations should any untoward incidents occur in the future.
Vistan said in the same interview there were no plans to implement a curfew as students, faculty, and non-staff live on campus.
Nor would there be any plans to put up a gate around the campus like other universities.
The campus continues to be on heightened alert while authorities hunt down the suspect. – Rappler.com