Calls for justice echo over Cebu rape-killing
CEBU CITY—Karen Kaye Montebon had always been good in handling money. She would remind the family how to use her father’s salary, especially on what things must be prioritized.
This was why she enrolled at University of San Carlos (USC) here to pursue a degree in accountancy and her dream so she could someday help the family, her father, James, told reporters in a brief interview.
That dream ended on Tuesday, when James arrived home from work in Corinthians Subdivision in Lapu-Lapu City. He was shocked to see the lifeless body of Karen inside her room, bruised and her neck tied with a cord of a hair straightener.
Calls for justice and the restoration of death penalty flooded social media as news of the rape-killing of the 17-year old student inside her home in Barangay Suba-Masulog spread.
Karen was strangled with bare hands, according to autopsy reports conducted by the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory and St. Peter Funeral Homes in Imus, this city.
PO3 Jerson Alparito of the Lapu-Lapu police, said the young woman was first brought to Mactan Doctors’ Hospital where doctors confirmed a laceration in her private parts and a bloodstain in her underwear, a finding confirmed by the medico-legal officer of the PNP Crime Lab.
Only Karen was home
James, who works as an electrician, and his wife, Emelinda, were attending a seminar when the crime took place. Karen’s only sibling, Diane, 21, was in the hospital on an internship for a medical-related course.
Police said the crime could have happened between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. that morning when the other members of the family had left the house and Karen was getting ready to go to school to take an exam at 10:30 a.m.
Appeal to surrender
James asked authorities to immediately arrest the culprits and appealed to them to surrender if they still have a conscience.
Senior Insp. Zenaido Pastorfide, chief of the Lapu-Lapu City police’s homicide section, said lawmen were looking into a lead on the identity of the killers were talking to possible witnesses. A pair of slippers was found outside the house while Karen’s camera and computer tablet were missing, he said.
Pastorfide said he was not certain if the motive was robbery or rape.
Over Facebook and Twitter, Karen’s friends, co-students, and even media members called for justice and demanded the restoration of death penalty using two hashtags—#JusticeForKarenKayeMontebon and #JusticeforKarenMontebon.
Khen Aquino, vice president of the USC Supreme Student Council, also condemned the rape-killing of Karen.“For now, condolences to her family. Such a young innocent girl, longing for ambition, stripped away from her freedom to live,” he said in a Facebook post.
A day after the crime, the Corinthians Homeowners Association replaced the security guards of the subdivision. A month ago, it had already noted security lapses committed by the guards and notified Bisda Security Agency about the termination of its contract effective Sept. 15, said its treasurer, Luzmary Macasaquit.
Macasaquit confirmed that robbers had already struck in several houses.
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