Solon urges Congress to probe lawlessness in MSU

A lawmaker is urging Congress to investigate the series of crimes and violence within the Mindanao State University (MSU).

Rep. Pangalian M. Balindong (2nd District, Lanao del Sur) said there is also a need to look into the alleged inaction of the administrators of MSU in addressing the security concerns of the academic community.

The Mindanao solon said a series of chilling and violent crimes have been happening at the Mindanao State University, many of which went unreported.

Balindong cited the recent killing of Professor Othello Cobal and his 21-year old student assistant, Erwin Diaz by unidentified attackers who also razed to ground the professor’s internet café.

Balindong said that a few weeks before the heinous double murder, several cases of breaking and entering and arson had been committed within the campus.

“The worst case was robbery and the burning of the entire College of Hotel and Restaurant Management complex,” Balindong said.

He cited another incident which happened sometime in June 2012 where one of the MSU dormitories burned down.

Balindong added that authorities immediately ruled out foul play even if they didn’t conduct a thorough investigation about the incident and that people continue to talk of foul play.

He lamented the deterioration of MSU—dirty, noisy and unkempt haven for criminal activity with squatters and loose firearms invading the campus—a far cry from its former image of a serenely beautiful and quiet campus.

Balindong expressed concern that there have been no apprehensions and that not even a single suspect has been hauled to the police precinct for investigation or officially charged in any court.

“While the police and university authorities remain clueless about the latest murders on campus, no action has been forthcoming from its Chancellor—not even a simple statement of concern,” he said.

The lawmaker said bright students continue to enroll in MSU every year despite the grave security issues as MSU remains the only university in the country that offers the cheapest fees at only P50 per unit, has the cheapest cost of living and with nationally competitive academic standards.

“MSU, as the premiere institution of learning in Southern Philippines, has educated thousands of poor but very bright and promising young students, many of them successful professionals and entrepreneurs and even leaders of the nation today,” Balindong said.

He said Congress cannot just stand by and watch MSU wallow in such a hapless, hopeless position because inaction compromises the future of thousands of Filipinos in the southern part of the country.

Through House Resolution 2872, Balindong asked the House Committees on Higher and Technical Education, Muslim Affairs and Public Order and Safety to conduct a joint inquiry into the spate of crimes and lawlessness within the Mindanao State University main campus.

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