By Dr. Ces Noble

The Philippines has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Education ranks high as a priority among Filipino families. The Philippine government also has plenty of programs for young people. But sadly, there is NO CAMPUS LAW ENFORCEMENT program in the Philippine public safety system. Schools rely on a security guard system and would only call on the police after problems or crimes have transpired.

Until recently, missing students were reported to a Senate Hearing held by Senator Ronald Bato Dela Rosa. The country was shaken by the revelation of by a group of crying mothers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

This year’s Public Safety Officers Senior Executive Course (OSEC) took upon itself to seek possible solutions to poor campus security and active terrorist recruitment of students in their foreign academic tour. Thank goodness, there was UCSF who responded to its request for assistance.

For most of the participants, the highlight of the tour was the Campus Law Enforcement Seminar and the Active Shooting Training. UCSF simulated an actual shooting and hostaging scenarios and the officers used laser bullets in the engagement.

In response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate: EO 70 National Task Force for a whole government approach to end local community armed conflict) to secure Filipino young people from communist terrorist recruitment, the OSEC group attended a UCSF-hosted seminar on Campus Law Enforcement seminar. The seminar was held at the UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, Byers Hall provides space for collaboration between academic researchers and the biotechnology industry. This event was ably coordinated by Lt Mark Zuasola, who is dual-citizen Filipino-American.

The Campus Law Enforcement Seminar featured an overview of the work of UCSF Police Department in keeping the peace on campus and providing for a climate conducive to learning. Chief Mike Denson, Captain Eric Partika, & Lieutenant Mark Zuasola) discussed requested topics including student activism, missing students, protests, violence, and radicalization of students.

During the discussions the participants showed much concern from the evolving forms of student protests and radicalization. The case of CPP-NPA-NDF recruitment of students was brought out go forum. The UCSF police shared some insights on how the police can get its legitimate influence established and institutionalized in the campuses.

The highlight of the UCSF event was the Active Threat Seminar delivered by Corporal Michael Tilly, Officer Rommel Valenzuela, and Officer Michael Usis. It consists of a briefing and an actual exercise held in their training facility in Northpoint by Pier 39.

Photo by Ces Noble

Participants pose after the Active Threat Seminar ‐Prepare to Survive exercise.

Photo by Ces Noble

Lt Mark Zuasola poses with the team 5 after the Active Threat Exercise. The group enjoyed the Active Threat exercise where they get to practice neutralizing the active shooter and protecting hostages.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is looking to establish campus law enforcement in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education. A conference to introduce, initiate and promote this law enforcement program is set to transpire this coming December 2019. The UCSF leadership has committed to help make this happen. Now that’s what we call meaningful sharing of expertise, and enabling goodwill fueling the global Filipino nation.

The series of events in the OSEC Foreign Academic Tour was made possible by a closely knit network of organizations that contributed time and effort to make the tour meaningful and successful. It includes the Filipino-American Law Enforcement Officers (FALEO), Bridging Cultures, Filamstar, the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, and the Permanent Mission to New York. It has taken them from West to East Coast.