UPLB ensures continued security measures as suspect in student’s rape arrested

By , on October 19, 2014

View of UPLB Carabao Park (Photo courtesy of the official UPLB Facebook page)
View of UPLB Carabao Park (Photo courtesy of the official UPLB Facebook page)

MANILA — In light of the recent incident involving the rape of a 17-year old freshman student of the University of the Philippine Los Banos (UPLB), the university management on Friday assured of continued enforcement of security measures within the school premises.

UPLB Vice-Chancellor Dr. Enrique Tolentino said that street lights and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras had been installed around the university campus since Given Grace Cebanico, also a UPLB student, who was raped and killed three years ago on almost the same spot where the recent victim was raped last October 15.

Plans for higher security measures inside campuses without resorting to militarization are now being discussed among the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), UP administrators and various government agencies.

Laguna Police Director Senior Superintendent Florendo Saligao confirmed over a radio interview that the suspect Jose “Joey” Montecillo, a tricycle driver, was arrested by the police authorities at a relative’s house in Calauan town around 12:45 a.m. Friday.

According to police reports, the victim, who was bound to return home around 10 p.m. after watching a quiz bee, decided to walk from the terminal due to long queues and waited for a tricycle along the way instead.

Montecillo then offered her a ride and while they were traveling along the Buot area, the tricycle driver stopped at a gasoline station saying they had run out of gas and asked the victim to alight from the vehicle. Afterwards, the suspect allegedly brought the student to a grassy rice field where Montecillo threatened to kill her before raping her, the police said.

The report further said the tricycle driver abandoned the victim after the incident. Eventually, a security guard of the university saw the victim and brought her to the hospital.

Tolentino said the university is currently helping the freshman student with her medical and academic needs.

As of posting time, the student is said to have been already discharged from the hospital, but remains traumatized from the unfortunate incident.

Meanwhile, SCAP, in a statement, called for bigger budget for security in schools and universities.

“While the rape case could not be blamed on the administration and local officials alone, such incident could have been prevented if only they learned from Cebanico‚Äôs case and installed and maintained mechanisms in which all-out law enforcement was ensured,” SCAP said, maintaining that students have the right to security inside campus premises and adjacent areas.

The group further cited the limited budget of the UP system which partly affects the security enforcement of the university’s police force.

For 2015, UP gets Php12.6 billion out of the Php25 billion it proposed. The said budget of the university next year though is a spike from its Php9.37 billion budget this year.