VSU Security office has requested the Office of the Head for Power Plant and Electrical Services (OHPPES) for the installation of additional street lights within the dormitory premises of the main campus following the report of an unidentified man that broke into the Sampaguita Ladies' Dormitory through the old-structured emergency exit on the second floor around midnight, November 20.
Sampaguita Dormitory Adviser, Ms. Alaina G. Larrazabal described the alleged intruder from the occupant's observation that he is dark-skinned, wearing a violet shirt, a dark-colored bonnet while carrying a bag and a smartphone as a flashlight. The intruder was able to enter the emergency exit and the hallway but escaped right away after being spotted by one occupant.
Security personnel S/G Rosendo L. Pedregosa, S/G Jorge D. Sudoria, and S/G Eduardo D. Estoy were able to follow the intruder after he left visible footmarks along the emergency exit stairs, toward the greenswards, and to the empty graduate dormitory.
Dr. Alleli A. Villocino, VP of Student Affairs and Services, also responded to the situation to check the emergency exits and light installation. She also made sure to follow up on the investigation with the security office.
Ms. Aliana G. Larrazabal ensures that there were no panic attacks among the students, but they remain vigilant throughout the night.
“Wala man hinuoy panic attacks, nagsaba lang ug nag storyahay tas nagkinataw-anay, siguro comfort ila nakuha since daghan man mi ari, so wala rajuy nag breakdown or something,”
[There were no panic attacks, only loud chatting, and laughing, maybe they find comfort in each other since we are a lot in here, so no one breakdown or something.]
Occupants have also reported to their dorm adviser two months ago that they woke up at midnight with all of their doors already open, but no valuable things were reported missing.
“Naka mata silag alas-dose kay ilang doors open, niya mo insist man sila nga sarado jud daw before sila natulog, even the neighboring rooms also insisted that the room doors are closed, and atu nga time open pa ang tanan fire exist since bawal jud siya e lock, so wala mi kasabot if naa batuy interference from the outside or accident ra, and amo lang siya ma connect sa karon,” she narrated the unverified past incident.
[They (occupants) woke up around 12 AM with their doors open, they insisted that they closed all their doors before they sleep, and even the neighboring rooms also insisted that the room doors are closed, and during that time all fire exits are open since it is not allowed to lock fire exits, so we do not know if there was interference from the outside or just an accident, and we can only connect it to what happen now.]
Ms. Larrazabal also requested for security personnel to man the area with the incident anew and with fear that the alleged intruder will come back to which the security office cited a lack of manpower.
“Nisabot ra sad ko sa stand sa atung security guards na kulang jud sila ug tao, and as a matter of fact kuno usa ra ka tao ang mag roving sa upper campus every night, so maglisod sila if ila e-saturate ang ilang attention diris Sampaguita, mawad-an ug magcheck sa iba na dorms and offices, so they advised us to always be vigilant na lang sa.” she stated when asked about the current updates and security and safety situation.
[I understand the stand of our security guards that they lack manpower, and as a matter of fact, only one person does the roving in the upper campus every night, so it’s difficult for them to saturate their attention in Sampaguita, no one will check the other dorms and offices, so they advised us to always be vigilant for now.]
Occupants then resumed being even more vigilant and carried out preventive measures by alternating inspections on each floor, securing the emergency exits, and checking door locks for each room.
They also secured all the emergency exits temporarily by lifting the stairs and putting table ties around the lock, since it is not allowed to completely lock emergency exits, especially using keys because they will have difficulty in looking for the keyholder in case of emergency. Emergency exits also must stay open and accessible all the time, in case of an emergency arises inside.
“If we put cable ties, anyone can open from the inside using a scissor or a knife, if anyone opens from the outside it can create noise that alarms everyone inside,” she explains the use of cable ties.
Ms. Larrazabal said when asked about the areas of improvements they want to suggest, that although the installation of lights is just a “band-aid solution”, it could at least lighten the area and cause “intimidation” to attempting intruders.
“Pero para sa amoa, ang pinaka sustainable na solution is CCTV jud, maoy pina-ka longterm, CCTV facing the exits and entrance, since dako ang Sampaguita and we are isolated,” she added as one of their requests to ODS.
[But for us, the most suitable solution is the CCTV installment, the long-term solution, CCTV facing the exits and entrance, since Sampaguita is a huge dormitory and isolated as well.]
Occupants also shared the same requests for security and safety. According to Ana Diongzon Labador, Sampaguita Dormitory President, they also need manpower to clean the back area of the dormitory and security guards to survey the area every night.
The VSU security office also requested additional security manpower plus the construction of a guardhouse with assigned security guards at the junction between animal science - forestry & Sampaguita - upper Molave hill to serve as night shift lookouts. They also appeal that during incidents like this, the concerned party should immediately call their attention so that they can respond immediately.