The Philippines’ first and only industry magazine that deals with safety and security matters pervading the environment today.

5 Lessons in Security from the Vhong-Deniece-Cedric Incident

Too much has been said about the incident involving actor Vhong Navarro, model Deniece Cornejo and businessman Cedric Lee. The incident has left the comedian mauled allegedly by the businessman, and the model reported to be raped by the actor. The issue has been given more than full media coverage and has become a national sensation. We cannot determine yet what exactly happened on the incident but there are lessons in security that can be learned. Here are the lessons everyone and security professionals can learn:

Engaging in discreet romantic affairs can be very dangerous. What makes discreet affairs risky or dangerous? It’s the element of secrecy where nobody else knows of it except the parties concerned. The revelation of such secrecy itself is a threat to one’s reputation and can be used as a leverage or tool for blackmail. In such arrangement, one can be a victim of blackmail, a set-up, abuse and even crimes of passion.

The lessons here is to stay faithful and never cheat. This is a not just a relationship tip but also a security tip. The incident could not have happened if Navarro, who already has a girlfriend, did not engage in a romantic affair with a person he barely knows. The metaphor “playing with fire” serves as a warning to those seeking the thrill of discreet romance. For Navarro, he learned the lesson the hard way. So before a booty call, think first of the consequences.

Sex is a bait for crime and lowers one’s vigilance. The act of sex or the anticipation of it lowers one’s guard and makes the person a crime target. The same goes with alcohol and illegal drugs, which similarly make people more vulnerable to crime. Once caught off guard, the victim has no time to react to protect his or herself from those who want to take advantage of him/her.

Except from the Navarro-Cornejo case, what’s worse in a sex-related crime is that the victim will not likely file a complaint because the situation would be very embarrassing and would be damaging to the victim’s relationships, career, and even reputation. It would be a scandal which the victim will likely try to avoid to not add more damage done by the perpetrators. So a crime done in secret romantic affairs will likely remain a secret, too. This would encourage the perpetrator to do it again.

CCTV cameras are also monitoring tools, not just recording devices. The CCTV footage in the condo building became a big factor in the case and was even made public by investigators. Why did the condo security fail to address the situation? The guards or CCTV operators did not monitor the suspicious activity in the hallways and the elevator when the incident occurred. Though privacy starts inside one’s residence or condo unit, the CCTV operators could have monitored what is happening in the premises like the elevator, hallways, and lobby. CCTV cameras are a tool for crime prevention and response and not just a tool for recording crimes.

Condo security policy on police matters should be clarified. The security agency serving the condominium building where the incident happened is facing charges for obstruction of justice. Security agencies serving in condos are answerable to condo management but they are also required to cooperate with law enforcement. If security personnel failed to stop a crime inside their premises, cooperating with the police is the next best thing. The security agency should not try to clear themselves in any incident in their area of responsibility. Doing so will only worsen their situation. So creating policies for cooperating with law enforcement is a must is to avoid charges of obstruction and even lessen the damage to the agency’s credibility involving any incident.

Make security an important habit even at home. Practice security measures in your condo home. Don’t rely too much on condo security because they have their hands full in securing everyone in the condominium compound. The responsibility of security really lies in your own hands. Practice security precautions like not accepting visitors late in the evening, letting guards contact you first before letting visitors go up to your unit, and installing peep holes and double locks on doors will make the difference.