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Malacañang condemns UP Los Baños killings

A nineteen-year old student of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) was stabbed dead by robbers last Sunday (March 4).

Two motorcycle-riding men held up Bernard Peñaranda, a BS Agriculture student and two companions along F.O. Santos St. in Umali Subdivision around 1:30 a.m.. The area was 200 meters away from UPLB.

Peñaranda was chased down by the suspects and was stabbed on the chest using a knife.

The two companions rushed Peñaranda to the Los Baños Doctors Hospital after the robbers stabbed him, but he was declared dead on arrival. According to the police, Peñaranda was stabbed once in the chest.

Five days earlier, fourteen-year-old Rochel Geronda was killed in Los Baños.  Geronda, a first year student at Los Baños National High School, was found dead in a junkyard in Demarces Subdivision.

Last year, Given Grace Cebanico, a computer science  student, was raped and killed and her body was dumped in a canal along Apec Road in Los Baños.

Meanwhile, Malacañang said it is exerting all out efforts to bring back peace and order within the UPLB area,  expressing commitment to serve justice to the victims of criminality in the area.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda issued the statement in the wake of the series of rape and robbery cases within the UPLB community.

“These killings strike at the very heart of the peaceful, orderly, and safe community that UPLB has been, and must be again. We will not rest until justice is done and the perpetrators are punished. We would like to assure concerned faculty, parents, students, and all those in the UPLB community that steps are being taken to make the campus a safe place to work and live in, and visit,” Lacierda said in the statement on Monday.

The police force, Lacierda said, has also been augmented and the investigations are now in full swing to put behind bars those responsible for the criminalities within the campus.

“Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo has relieved thirteen policemen who constitute the UP Los Baños police, which operate under the university authorities. Sec. Robredo has designated the Provincial Police of Laguna to take over. He has also ordered the augmentation of the police in the grounds of UPLB and the intensified investigation of the three cases of murder that have shocked and horrified the UPLB community,” Lacierda said.