UP Diliman: No basis for PNP’s claim that campus is ‘crime hotspot’

Published January 23, 2021, 10:57 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman said that there is no basis for the Philippine National Police’s claim that its campus is a ‘crime hotspot’ in Quezon City, citing data from its safety and security office and from the local police.

University of the Philippines Diliman (up.edu.ph)

In a statement, UP Diliman on Saturday, Jan, 23, said “no shabu or illegal drug laboratory has ever operated inside” the campus based on records of the UP Diliman Public Safety and Security Office (UPD-PSSO).

“Neither was there information or intelligence reports from the PNP or Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency of the operation of such within our community”” it added.

UP Diliman asserted that “there is no basis for the claim that UP is a hotspot for a crime” as “in fact, drug-related cases comprise only 1 to 2 percent of the total safety and security incidents inside Brgy. UP Campus.”

“In February 2020, the only three recorded cases of possession of illegal drugs involved persons not connected in any way with the University. The last two cases that involved faculty or students took place in late 2016, and no drug-related incident involving a UPD employee has been reported since 2017,” the university pointed out.

In a statement Friday, the PNP claimed that Barangay UP Campus is a “crime hotspot” in Quezon City, saying it is ranked 20th in the peace and order indicator in the city since 2016. PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana cited the consistent “trend of non-index crime incidents” in the barangay.

“During a dialogue among representatives from the government security sector and the academe, CHED [Commission on Higher Education] authorities have noted the ‘prevalence of the drug problem’ in the state university and its police force’s inability to address crime and public safety issues in campus,” Usana said.

However, citing data from the UP Diliman Police (UPDP), the university stressed that the crimes reported in the area were mostly crimes against property, traffic violations, and robbery.

“Even in 2019… There were no drug-related issues recorded during this time. Of the 247 cases, 134 were recorded/entered in the blotter, while 113 cases became active, of which 63 (55.8 percent) were already resolved and 50 remain under investigation,” it added.

UP Diliman even took pride that “effectively, the number of recorded cases in campus dropped by 63 percent in 2020 from the 2019 number.”

“The UP Diliman Executive Committee as well as our PSSO and the UPDP have been very accommodating to programs and efforts of our law enforcement agencies to totally eliminate the existence of illegal drugs inside the campus community. We ensure that UP Diliman is still one of the safest and most peaceful campus environments in the country,” the PSSO report added.

UP Diliman issued the statement after the PNP made the “crime hotspot” statement at the height of massive protest rally over the Defense department’s unilateral abrogation of an agreement with UP that prevents military and police units inside the university’s campuses without prior permission.