Dead woman found near UPLB campus is student Given Grace Cebanico
The period of mourning started with disbelief at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) over the identification of the dead woman whose body was found dumped just outside the university campus last Monday.
She was Given Grace Cebanico, who just turned 19 on Sept. 23. Her Facebook account said so much about her. In there, she was cuddling a stuffed toy, her eyes gentle and smiling.
Her body was found on Apec Road at the outskirts of UPLB, where she was a junior computer science student, with stab wounds, her hands cuffed and her mouth gagged with a handkerchief.
On Thursday, her Facebook account started to be flooded with messages of condolences as news of her murder spread. “We’re not close but it’s hard to accept,” said one message.
Everything good that can be said about Given Grace was in her Facebook account. She was a “good and happy person,” a “blessing to many.” And then there were calls for justice.
Police said she could have been raped, although this has to be confirmed yet. Results of an autopsy were not conclusive on the cause of death.
Many of her Facebook friends changed their profile photos to a black ribbon, signifying condolence and outrage over her murder.
Luis Velasco, UPLB chancellor, said Given Grace left her dorm at Umali Subdivision around 8 p.m. on Monday for a group project in a classmate’s dorm nearby. She returned to her dorm around 3 a.m. “That’s the point of abduction,” Velasco said, quoting police. At around 7 a.m., residents in Barangay Putho-Tuntungin found her body in a canal.
Her family in Binangonan, Rizal, had been looking for Given Grace since Wednesday. Her mom, Marlene, sent out messages in Facebook through her daughter’s account asking her friends if they had seen Given Grace.
The search is over. Thursday, students staged a candlelighting ceremony in UPLB before Given Grace’s family brought her body home. Chancellor Velasco was apologetic but he said the murder was something “out of control.”
Police said a witness identified one of two suspects also Thursday. A certain Percival de Guzman, 38, tricycle driver, has been arrested.
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