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Isko, at What Cost?

My sister drinking fresh Carabao's Milk
My sister and I spent Independence Day visiting the my youngest sister’s new school – UP Los Baños or Elbi to its students.
UPLB is known as a university town with residential areas all around the campus. 

We initially had problems allowing her to study there.  In the recent months, UPLB has cemented its reputation as one of the most unsafe campuses in the country due to the two rape-slay cases and one robbery-murder in just five months.

In my time, UPLB was known for the rape slay and murder of two of its students in 1993 by then Mayor Antonio Sanchez.  One of the most high profile cases in recent history.

Students say that UPLB has since beefed up their security by employing more guards and putting up light posts along the roads.  I do not know if this is true.  Roaming around the area, I never once saw any guards or police in the vicinity.  There was no security check within the campus and even inside her dorm.
The UPLB compound consists of hectares of dark and highly forrested area.  You'd have to take a jeepney inside the campus to go from one building to another.
Here resides those we deem as the “Iskolar ng Bayan”. To be in UP means that you are among the intellectual elite.  After all, majority of people (my sisters included) would agree that this is indeed our country’s premier university.

The idea that these scholars are at risk everyday just by virtue of being in this university is a horrifying thought especially to parents who expect the school to be a safe place for their children.

The fact that a few of them had to die before the university administration would realize the loopholes in their security policies is against everything UP stands for.

UP's motto states "Honor and Excellence", but how can you embody any of those if you are left lying in one of Elbi's dark, grassy area, bleeding or dead?


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