Security guard gets life for 2011 rape-slay of UPLB student
SAN PEDRO CITY, Laguna – A former bank security guard on Tuesday was sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2011 rape and slaying of University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) student Given Grace Cebanico.
Judge Alberto Serrano of the Calamba City Regional Trial Court Branch 92 found Lester Ivan Rivera guilty of three counts of rape with homicide and theft and was sentenced to three life imprisonment terms.
Serrano issued the verdict at a court in Muntinlupa City on Tuesday afternoon, more than four years after the incident that shocked the university community in Los Baños town in Laguna province.
Rivera, who surrendered to authorities after the crime, was transferred to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City in 2014 after he was convicted of theft. His former security agency filed a separate case against him relating to the company-issued gun that was used to shoot Cebanico.
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Cebanico’s father, Jun, said the family had expected the verdict, after Rivera, in February, reentered a plea and owned up to the crime.
Rivera’s co-accused, Percival de Guzman, is awaiting the court’s verdict, which the Cebanico family expects to come out next month.
Given Grace, 19, a junior computer science student, was raped and killed near the campus in October 2011. Her death sparked public outcry that prompted university and local government officials to review its security measures around the campus. CDG
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.