Policemen from the Manila Police District raided three bars within the vicinity of De La Salle University (DLSU) and DLS-College of St. Benilde yesterday, February 26.
A bar in front of the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall was raided first, while two bars along Fidel Castro St. were simultaneously searched for illegal substances at around 8 pm. The police also sought to apprehend minors who were caught drinking alcoholic beverages. The bars were cordoned off while the raids were ongoing; no one was allowed to leave or enter the premises of the bars during the search operations.
Thirty minors were caught with alcoholic beverages, but no illegal substances were found in any of the three bars. The minors were escorted to the Manila Police District headquarter on United Nations Ave. for detention.
Out of the 29 detained minors, only one was proven to be a DLSU student and three were from DLS-CSB. The other apprehended students were from other colleges located in the University Belt and one was even a high school senior from an exclusive school in San Juan. Majority of them live in condominiums and apartments along Taft Ave., making the three bars accessible to them.
University Safety Office’s Rodrigo Gulfo represented the University during the inquest in the police headquarter. According to him, he was given directions to get a record of all Lasallians who were involved in the incident and to represent them on behalf of their parents and guardians. This was done to expedite the release of Lasallian students from detention. DLS-CSB sent their own representative to facilitate the release of their students.
Leave it to the law
The students caught participating in underage drinking were released after their parents and guardians signed forms required by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
They cannot be detained for a longer period because of their ages. As punishment for getting caught, all minors will have to attend rehabilitation sessions conducted by the DSWD.
The minors’ schools and universities could also give out additional sanctions to their respective students.
In addition, Manila City’s Bureau of Permits will review the business permits of the three bars that were caught serving alcoholic beverages to minors. Corresponding sanctions will apply once the city hall’s own investigation has been finalized.
According to an article published by The LaSallian last 2010 regarding the drinking establishments around the University, the bars in questions do have valid business permits to operate as restaurants.
Special permits must be granted to establishments who wish to serve alcoholic beverages to patrons. As of press time, no announcement from the Bureau of Permits has been made regarding the immediate consequences that will be sanctioned to the three bars.
A move to have these establishments closed will have to come from the government of the City of Manila.