UP Baguio, Saint Louis University students get threats via SMS

September 27, 2022 - 7:41 PM
Composite shows the entrance of the University of the Philippines Baguio and Saint Louis University (Screengrab from Google Maps)

The University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) and Saint Louis University (SLU) student councils received text messages threatening the safety and security of students. 

In a text message shared by the student councils on Tuesday, September 27, the sender said, “dapat lang sa inyo may masaktan masampolan para tumigil kayo sa paglaban sa pangulo.”

The sender also rebuked the students for allegedly “fighting the government.”

“Wala kayung ginawa kung ‘di labanan ang gobyerno. Mga studyante kayo, gobyerno nagpapaaral sa inyo pero kinakalaban nyo sila,” the text reads. 

Saint Louis University is a private Catholic institution founded by the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

“Napuno na ang grupo namin, kikilos na kami mula ngayon. Mga estudyante ng SLU at UP naihanda na naming ang lahat. May mga tao na kaming nakahanda sa loob humanda kayo,” the message reads. 

Following the threat, the SWAT team arrived at the SLU campus based on the university’s student publication report

‘Hands off our students’

The student councils of the two universities strongly deplored the security threats.

“The UPB USC denounces the continuing attacks on the democratic rights of the youth,” the UPB student council wrote in a post.

The council found the message alarming as students are just starting to return to campus after almost three years under the remote learning setup. 

The UPB’s student leaders also underscored the importance of a safe space for students. 

“Upholding the rights and welfare of our constituents by creating and protecting safe/democratic spaces online and on-ground is a crucial aspect of ligtas na balik-eskwela,” the council said.

“In the face of worsening crisis and fascist attacks against the people, especially under the illegitimate Marcos II regime, it is only just that students remain critical and continue to fight alongside the broad masses,” it added.

The SLU student council, meanwhile, “condemns this crackdown against the progressive youth.”

“These acts of fascism must end now. We are one in the call to defend democracy and uphold our human rights,” the SLU student council said in a Facebook post

The UPB’s council also took a stand against the harassment.

“The University Council-UP Baguio condemns this form of harassment aimed at terrorizing our students. We stand against malicious labelling and threats against freedom of expression,” the statement reads. 

“As a University, we encourage our students to engage in the discourse for social justice to serve as catalysts for change,” UPB said.

“As a democratic society, we should be open to varied perspectives and seek solutions to achieve inclusive development,” it added. 

“Hands off our students! Stop red-tagging!” the university called.