Private lawyers in Lordei case to file new charges against suspect
(This report was first published in print in issue 17 of the Philippine Collegian on 22 November 2012.)
by Julian Inah Anunciacion
Five months after the Diliman Legal Office (DLO) failed to pre-empt the bail of the suspect in the attack on UP Diliman (UPD) Political Science student Lordei Camille Anjuli Hina, new private lawyers will take over the case and file new non-bailable charges in the next few months.
The suspect, Danmar Vicencio, posted bail in June and currently faces robbery charges filed at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 91. In a pre-trial hearing on November 8, Lordei’s new private lawyer, Atty, Eric Mesoga, resubmitted police reports, statements and medico-legal documents in support of the case.
DLO lawyers Atty. Victoriano Hipe and Atty. Allan Roxas initially filed “robbery with frustrated homicide” against Vicencio, but the city prosecutor only approved a case of “robbery with unnecessary violence,” due to “lack of evidence.” Lordei, who was the primary witness, was not able to testify at the time.
As the formal trial begins on February 11, the prosecution will present the first of at least five witnesses to testify in court, including a friend of Lordei’s, who was with her before the incident happened. Another possible witness is the Vinzons Hall security guard on duty when the incident happened, said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Ma. Corazon Tan.
Lordei sustained multiple stab wounds in her arms and head after Vicencio attacked her and stole two laptops, a flash drive, and an external drive at the UPD University Student Council (USC) office on February 2. The suspect tried to flee but was arrested by the UPD Police.
The police has yet to arrest Vicencio’s alleged accomplice, Dante Santos, who was able to escape from the crime scene.
Lordei underwent a successful brain surgery and is currently under therapy at home. She has regained her ability to talk in conversations, but she is still unable to testify in court or return to school, her friend said.
Hina’s family still needs to settle P1 million of Hina’s P2.2 million hospital bill, her friend said. So far around P513,000 have been raised by the UPD community, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Prof. Ma. Corazon Tan said.
“We hope to see the the UP community rally behind Lordei again… Lordei’s health and [financial] woes aside, this has shown what a nightmare it is to deal with [the UP administration’s] circuitous procedures,” Former Student Regent (SR) Ma. Kristina Conti said.
Meanwhile, UPD will undergo a five-year program to improve campus security, said Chief Security Officer and UPD Community Safety and Welfare Committee (CSWC) Vice Chair Prof. Edgardo Dagdag. The said program includes the renovation of the UPDP headquarters, purchase and maintenance of security equipment and the training and development of security personnel.
From 100 police officers in the 1970s, the UPDP is now composed of only 39 policemen, said Sgt. Luisito De Vera of UPD Police (UPDP). UPD’s security force also currently includes 52 Special Services Brigade personnel, 268 security guards, and 15 members of the Task Force on Squatting, Community, Housing and Utilities, according to CSO records.
Meanwhile, recent plans to tighten campus security like the use of Radio Frequency Identification cards (RFID) will be implemented in two years, UPDP Maj. Bernie Baltazar told the Collegian. Once implemented, UPD students and staff would need to use RFID cards to enter road gates.
Conti and current SR Cleve Kevin Robert Arguelles however condemned the inability of the administration to adequately support Lordei and her family and utlimately resolve security issues on campus. “Wala namang substantial improvements sa security. [Mas] kailangang dagdagan yung  security personnel sa campus,” current SR Cleve Kevin Robert Arguelles said. ●
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