Trial of UP stabbing suspect begins

Posted at 02/13/2013 7:55 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The trial of one of the men accused of stabbing and robbing a student at the University of the Philippines (UP) campus in Diliman, Quezon City last year started Monday with the presentation of the prosecution’s first witness.

Lawyer Erick Mesoga presented a witness who identified Dan Mar Vicencio as the one who robbed Lordei Hina while she was in the university student council office at the Vinzons Hall on Feb. 1, 2012.

Testifying at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 91, the witness – who asked not to be identified – said Vicencio and another man, identified as Dante Santos, went to the council office to inquire about the upcoming UP fair.

The witness, who claimed that she was the only one in the office, said she gave the contact number of a council member to the suspects, who immediately left the office.

She said Hina then arrived to assist her in their tasks for an organization. Moments later, she said Vicencio returned and asked about the number of the person in charge of the fair. He left after getting the contact number, said the witness.

After a while, the witness said she received a text message from Hina – left alone at the office while the witness went out to buy food – saying that the suspects returned and were again asking questions about the fair.

She said when she returned to the office with a companion, they discovered Hina bleeding and lying on her back. Some items from the office were missing, including Hina’s laptop, the witness said.

The witness claimed that it was Vicencio who inquired about the fair. A security guard accosted Vicencio as he was going out of Vinzons Hall moments after Hina was found unconscious. Hina’s possessions and a bladed weapon were confiscated from the suspect.

Vicencio was charged with robbery and is currently out on bail. Santos remains at large.

Hina had been repeatedly stabbed in the head and arms and was initially in a coma. She regained consciousness days after the incident.

Eds Gabral of the Task Force Lordei Hina said the student’s condition is getting better but she still needs to undergo therapy.

Hina’s mother, Connie, said they decided to stop her daughter’s therapy as they are unable to handle the expense. The therapy costs P80,000 to P100,000 a month and the Hinas have yet to pay P2 million in hospital bills and medical expenses, according to recent reports.

Following the hearing, Connie tried to confront Vicencio, who immediately left the courtroom. He declined to issue a statement.

Some members of the task force also chanted “Justice for Lordei Hina” as Vicencio left the Hall of Justice.

A cultural night and a fun run will be held tomorrow and on Sunday, respectively, for Hina’s benefit.