Tricycle driver convicted for rape-slay of UPLB student
SAN PEDRO CITY, Philippines—A court in Laguna province convicted a tricycle driver for rape and slaying of University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) student Given Grace Cebanico, putting an end to the five-year trial.
Judge Alberto Serrano of the Calamba City Regional Trial Court Branch 92, on Wednesday, sentenced Percival de Guzman to three life imprisonment terms for rape with homicide and another 12 to 17 years for qualified theft.
It was the same sentence that Serrano, in April, issued to Lester Ivan Rivera, De Guzman’s companion and a former bank security guard.
Cebanico, 19, a junior computer science student, was raped and killed near the campus on Oct. 11, 2011. Police arrested De Guzman while Rivera surrendered to authorities days after the incident.
De Guzman was detained in the Los Baños jail, while Rivera was transferred to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City in 2014 after he was convicted of theft.
Rivera’s former security agency had filed a separate case against him for using his service firearm in the crime.
In February, Rivera reentered his plea and owned up to the crime.
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Cebanico’s parents, Marlene and Jun, said they were grateful to all people who stood by the family throughout the trial.
“We can now put this issue to rest,” Marlene said. RAM
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