UPLB and the university town of Los Banos was defined to be green, quiet , scenic and surrounded by serene environment. But not these days. Successive gruesome crimes. Deaths of innocents. I can’t imagine that place that was once my comfort zone now becomes a place of fear.
I’m not a resident of Los Banos. But it is my psyche that tells I am attached to this place. I had a lot of memories specifically in UP campus. I have a number of friends still staying, studying and working there. It was not surprising for me if people are still walking outside on the street at late. I used to do the same when I was in college. I was then doing my assignments and projects with my friends and classmates in their apartments. I even used to review for exams with others.
But this semester seemed to be horrifying. Brutalities in the surrounding place of UPLB reached the national media and raised the growing concern for security. A lot of people hoped that Given Grace’ death would be that last and would be a call for awareness that security in the area is not enough. But then, about five months later, was a death of a 14-year old high school student, raped and murdered ,followed by robbery and murder of a third year UPLB student less than a week after.
Hey what’s up? What’s going on? Now everyone is scared. Parents are bothered. Hello to the authorities. Three innocents in your place died. You can’t blame why people are still awake and walking late at night. Los Banos, specifically the place near UPLB, is a 24-hour busy university ground. The last two deaths are another wake up calls, hoping that they were the last.
Security by means of spreading a number of police posts and CCTV cameras will not guarantee a perfect security, that’s a fact. They are just immediate aids to provide safety and help for unattended situations. Ourselves might still be the best one to relay on. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
(video by John Matthew Baguinon)