The University Belt or commonly known as U-Belt is an area in Manila which includes España, Morayta, Recto, Legarda, and other nearby places. The area is called as such because numerous well-known universities and colleges are located in it.
The area is surrounded by different establishments such as dormitories and boarding houses, bookstores, fast food restaurants, and other businesses that caters to the needs of the students.
But hidden within this subdistrict are establishments built to attract students, including minors, to engage in illegal activities.
A man alias “Mark” shared his experiences with these establishments. He admitted to being a member of a gang who used to occupy these places on a daily basis.
But because of an incident that led to a brawl, the group was banned from YES and JACA Billiards, two of the said establishments.
They noticed that the businesses found new patrons in the likes of younger customers, such as freshmen and sophomore college students, and in some cases, even high school students.
Mark admitted that prior to their banning, he used to enter the establishments with minors accompanying him.
But aside from the students from U-Belt, the business was also able to attract other students from outside the area.
Places like YES and JACA are specifically meant for entertainment like billiards, and of course, for drinking sessions.
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The nearby Marina Mansion Motel was where the other “activities” happen.
Mark said that they used to intentionally let their lady companions drunk so they could bring them inside the said motel which allows those who are wearing school uniforms to come inside.
According to a business analyst, these establishments were strategically placed in this area to attract the majority of youth and students present, a demographic which could be easily persuaded into doing vices or illegal activities.
The “Bitag” team, headed by Ben Tulfo, did the necessary action to stop the operation of these businesses.
They initially sent surveillance teams to the said establishments to observe the business operation.
Students were entering and exiting the premises.
It is noticeable that the drinking bars were very dimly lit inside, as to avoid being surveyed.
But surprisingly, there was a baranggay outpost just outside the drinking place.
The team surveying the Marina Mansion noticed a couple in uniform discreetly entering the motel.
According to Mark, the place is not strict in allowing students inside the motel anytime and any day.
Two undercover agents tried to enter the premises. At the reception area, you could clearly see the “short-time” promos offered by the motel.
The same thing goes with another motel nearby.
As soon as the Bitag team coordinated with the Manila Business Permits and Licensing Office and Task Force Chapa of the Manila City Hall, an operation was immediately conducted.
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