Thursday, September 4, 2014


MANILA-Amid the spate of kidnapping cases involving students in the country, Senator Sonny Angara is pushing for the immediate passage of a bill that would put in place tighter security on campuses nationwide.

Senate Bill 197 or the Campus Safety Act seeks to establish a Crime Prevention Committee (CPC) in all colleges and universities tasked to formulate policies and strategies that will help protect students from threats to their safety and security.

"Schools should be conducive to learning and intellectual discourse, not venues for violence and crime. We must ensure a safe and secure environment for students to pursue their studies within these institutions without fear for their physical well-being," Angara said.

Under the measure, the CPC shall formulate and implement crime prevention programs concerning campus safety and campus law enforcement to prevent the incidence of kidnapping, theft, rape and other forms of violence within and outside the school.

Statistics from the Philippine National Police's (PNP) Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) show that 18 kidnap-for-ransom cases were recorded in Luzon from January to August this year, one case more than the same period in 2013. With these 18 cases, 22 victims are involved compared to last year's 25.

According to PNP, the AKG has solved a total of 20 cases in the last two years, with 13 other cases still ongoing.

Kidnap-for-ransom syndicates usually target Filipino-Chinese students and businessmen. Some of the victims' families opt to not report the incident anymore to police authorities out of fear of retaliation from the perpetrators.

The senator has called on to the PNP for additional police presence especially during rush hour and school pickup hours when many kidnappings occur.

"It's alarming that student kidnappings happen in broad daylight. This could have been prevented if only there were strict school security measures in place," said Angara, a father of three.

"Our proposed measure aims to arm our students the know-how on courses of action in case of emergency to guarantee security and ensure expedient response and assistance from the authorities," he added.

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