A security guard who has spent nearly two decades keeping watch over students at a college in the Philippines1 was able to join their ranks today as a scholar celebrating his own graduation. Erwin Macua spent four years juggling his job as a guard at St Theresa s College in Cebu City with studying and being a father of three children. And today, the 38-year-old s efforts were rewarded, as he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Elementary Education degree.
Age is not a hindrance, poverty is not a hindrance, the scholar told ABS-CBN news.
Just pursue your dream with the formula: hard work plus determination plus prayer and you will reach your aspirations in life.
Despite working a long overnight shift from 7pm to 7am, Mr Macua maintained a full course load, attending classes from 7:30am to 4pm, Cebu Daily News reports. The security guard s name has also been on the college s Dean s list since his first year as a student in 2013. Mr Macua told ABS-CBN it had always been his dream to complete his studies and that he wanted to be a teacher because of his love of working with children.
Education is a good course to deal with students and you can really change their lives, he told the broadcaster.
The father used his own savings to fund his first year in college, but he says he was sponsored by an anonymous donor for the remainder of his school years.
Mr Macua has said he plans to continue his work watching over students at St Theresa s as he prepares for exams to earn a teaching licence.
Fresh calls have been made for Westminster security to be ‘stepped up’ in the wake of Wednesday’s terror attack. Former Met Police commissioner Lord Blair told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “there will have to be changes” following the attack and a review of the “outer soft ring” around the Houses of Parliament should be expected. Ex-House of Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans also added to the call for enhanced security after revealing “lots” of MPs locked in the Commons chamber during and after the attack were already discussing how to boost security in certain areas.
Adam Boulton, Editor-at-Large
This week’s attack on Westminster was brutally simple . A lone assailant, Khalid Masood, killed four people and seriously wounded more than 20 others. It took a matter of seconds and the weapons – knives and a car – are readily available to most adults in this country. Masood did most damage on the soft targets – pedestrians, many of them tourists, crowding a pavement on Westminster Bridge beside a road that is one of the capital’s main thoroughfares. The defences of the hard target – politicians going about their business in Parliament – held.
If terror is about threatening and unsettling the lives of ordinary citizens, the reaction to his murderous assault handed the lone killer a posthumous victory. Adam Boulton
Heroically and tragically, PC Keith Palmer was murdered . He was the first line of defence at the gates of the Palace of Westminster . It is difficult to see how someone whose job involved interacting with the public could have been better protected from a shock stabbing attack. A few yards further into New Palace Yard, Masood was shot dead by an armed close protection officer who was guarding Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. In spite of these terrible events, the national threat level was not raised from “severe”.
Security forces remained on alert for the likelihood of some kind of terror event, but there was no specific intelligence of an imminent attack being planned. After paying due tribute to the police and emergency services and a statement on the attack from the Prime Minister, MPs congratulated themselves on returning to business as usual. Debates resumed, but it was not business as usual at Westminster. Some 24 hours after the attack, roads around Parliament – Whitehall, Parliament Square, Millbank – were still shut to both vehicles and pedestrians, inconveniencing tens if not hundreds of thousands of people and disrupting one of the nation’s hubs. Even one former security minister said privately that he thought the precautions were going “too far” . If terror is about threatening and unsettling the lives of ordinary citizens, the reaction to his murderous assault handed the lone killer a posthumous victory. Alas, the Palace of Westminster is no stranger to attacks .
In the 1970s, the IRA’s mainland campaign bombed the Great Hall and blew up Airey Neave as he was leaving the MP’s car park. In February 1991, mortars were fired into 10 Downing Street . After each of these attacks, the security cordon was much more limited than this week and obviously served a practical purpose. This century there have been three violent attacks against MPs holding surgeries in their constituencies . Nigel Jones and Stephen Timms were injured, while Jo Cox was murdered. Almost all MPs have vowed to go on meeting the public as an essential part of their job. However, the Palace of Westminster has become more and more like a fortress even though the attacks there have been relatively frivolous.
In 2004, Otis Ferry and other pro-hunt demonstrators broke into the chamber of the Commons and disrupted proceedings . In another incident, Fathers for Justice threw a harmless purple powder down from the public gallery. The public gallery is now sealed off from MPs by high glass . Getting near the chamber requires an electronic pass to get through multiple locked doors . Visitors to the Parliament must go through full magnetic arch screening, and on the sides exposed to roads, the building is protected by railings, bollards and heavy truck-proof barricades. Most MPs gratefully admit that they are well protected in Westminster even following this week’s bloodshed. Nobody criticises the police and security services for doing their job .
But overzealous bolting of the stable door by the security services and health and safety style overreaction once a danger has passed just curtails the very freedoms they are supposed to be protecting and hands the terrorists an unnecessary win.
Sky Views is a series of comment pieces by Sky News editors and correspondents, published every morning.
Previously on Sky Views: Tom Cheshire – Ronald McDonald is a hero for our times1
- ^ Tom Cheshire – Ronald McDonald is a hero for our times (news.sky.com)