BAYBAY CITY – The Visayas State University (VSU) has aired concerns regarding police operations inside its campus without proper coordination from the school administration following the recent buy-bust drug operation that resulted in the arrest of one of its employees.

In a statement posted in its official website on Saturday, 13 August, the VSU said that while legal proceedings against its employee will be left to the court and the parties involved, the university “is reviewing its next steps to ensure that inter-agency protocols are properly followed.”

“The administration is concerned that the university was not asked for permission, coordinated with, or at least informed about the operation,” the statement reads. “With operatives entering the university’s jurisdiction discreetly in civilian attire and some armed, a simple misunderstanding with our security officers (who are also issued with firearms) could have jeopardized the safety of people in the area with serious implications,” added the university’s statement.

The university administration confirmed that the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit of the Leyte Provincial Police Office and the Baybay City Police conducted a buy-bust operation within its campus premises on August 5, 2022.

The operation led to the arrest of Soliver Gumaod, 37, an administrative aide at VSU main campus in this city. Authorities said Gumaod is listed as a high-value individual in the list of illegal drug personalities of the Police Regional Office-8.

The suspect was arrested after a police poseur-buyer was able to purchase a heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing suspected shabu at the VSU Lower Campus. The authorities also recovered 30 more sachets of shabu with an estimated weight of 100 grams worth Php 700,000.

“The university stands ready anytime to support and cooperate with government agencies and authorities in fulfilling their mandates whenever it falls under the state university’s jurisdiction,” it stated.

The VSU legal counsel further said that the university supports the government’s initiatives against illegal drugs and will do everything in its power to keep its campuses and its constituents secure and safe against any threat. Finally, it was found out that VSU President Edgardo Tulin has instructed the Security Force to be on heightened alert, especially during the graduation activities that happened last Thursday, 11 August. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail August 15-21, 2022 issue)