By Xianne S. Arcangel
Lordei Hina, a Political Science student who was stabbed several times by robbers on Wednesday inside the University Student Council office at Vinzons Hall in the University of the Philippines Diliman is still unconscious and remains in “a very critical condition,” her mother said.
In a press conference Saturday, Connie Hina said Lordei’s brain suffered serious damage from the wounds that were most likely inflicted by an ice pick. She added that the next six months would be critical for her daughter, who is currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Capitol Medical Center, in regaining her normal cognitive functions.
“At this point, it’s hard to say if she’ll recover or not, but I always believe in the power of prayers and positive thinking. Nothing is impossible to a willing and determined mind… Alam kong makaka-recover ang anak ko (I know my daughter will recover), and that I claim right now. Di pa tapos ang laban ng anak ko sa buhay (She hasn’t finished her fight in life),” Mrs. Hina said.
Lordei was attacked when she was alone inside the USC office by two men claiming to be members of a tattoo artists’ organization which was interested in renting a booth in the upcoming UP Fair.
The UP Diliman Police were able to arrest one of the suspects, who identified himself as Carlo Pecayo, 35, a few minutes after the crime. A Vinzons Hall security guard had seen Pecayo leave with a bag he did not have with him when he entered the building.
Lordei’s bag, two laptops worth P80,000, an external drive worth P3,000, and an improvised ice pick were recovered from Pecayo. His acccomplice, identified in the police report as Dante Santos, still remains at large as of press time.
Mrs. Hina said Lordei’s brain sustained the greatest amount of damage from the stab wounds to her head, which contrary to the suspect’s claim in earlier reports, was allegedly not caused by hitting her with a trophy but by a “very sharp and blunt object, which can only be… an ice pick.”
“Whatever it is na ginamit na panghampas [kay Lordei], ang na-damage lang sa kanya ay yung nose, at yung sinuses na cause [kung bakit] namamaga pa yung mata niya. Yung sa brain, it was by stabbing, which was caused by more likely an ice pick… kasi tumagos [sa utak],” (Whatever was used to hit Lordei damaged her nose and sinuses, which caused the swelling of her eyes. Her head was stabbed, more likely by an ice pick because it went into the brain) she said.
According to Mrs. Hina, surgery is currently not an option for Lordei as doctors are still waiting for her wounds to heal. She remains positive, however, that her daughter will recover quickly given that she is still young.
Lordei’s mother and her lawyer, Jessica Barun, refused to discuss the legal actions they are planning to take against Pecayo, saying that they have yet study the charges filed before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.
Quoting Superintendent Michael Macapagal of the Quezon City Police District Station 9, the Philippine Star reported that Pecayo underwent inquest proceedings late Thursday for robbery, serious physical injury and illegal possession of a bladed weapon.
In a statement released by the Office of the Chancellor Friday, the UP administration said it is “profoundly affected and deeply saddened” by the attack on Lordei.
The UPD Committee on Security and Welfare recommended the strict checking of IDs and bags by security personnel who will be issued metal detectors at the entrances of all colleges, dormitories and buildings on campus following its emergency meeting with Chancellor Caesar Saloma on Friday.
According to the administration, UPD police visibility around the vicinity where the attack occurred will also be increased “in order to rebuild confidence.”
“As the UP Administration attempts to maintain VH (Vinzons Hall) and UP Diliman (493 hectares, 24,300+ students, 1500+ fulltime faculty members, 1500+ regular staff, tens of thousands of visitors daily) as an open and publicly accessible academic institution, it will continue to develop better ways to ensure the security, safety and well-being of its faculty, staff and students so that UP is able to accomplish its stated mandate as a national university,” the statement said. With Ardelle Costuna