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Rape-slay victim’s family opposes death penalty

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By Lyka Manalo

CAMP MIGUEL MALVAR, Batangas— Despite the brutality inflicted on Fidex Therese Maranan by the man who raped and killed her, her family is still firmly against the reimposition of the death penalty in the country.

The suspect on the rape slay case of Fidex Therese Maranan, a graduating student of De La Salle Lipa, was arrested and presented to media by the Batangas Police headed by police director Colonel Edwin Quilates (center). Jorge Benedicto was arrested in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro. (LYKA MANALO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The suspect on the rape slay case of Fidex Therese Maranan, a graduating student of De La Salle Lipa, was arrested and presented to media by the Batangas Police headed by police director Colonel Edwin Quilates (center). Jorge Benedicto was arrested in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro. (LYKA MANALO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Maranan’s uncle, priest Ruben Dimaculangan, believes the death penalty can be a deterrent to prevent crimes, but it will brutalize the society.

Maranan was found dead in her bedroom in Miracle Heights Subdivision, Barangay Antipolo Del Norte, Lipa City last week.

The lone suspect, security guard Jorge Benedicto, was arrested in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro, a day before Fidex was buried on Wednesday.

“Even if Jorge Benedicto is executed, we are still in sorrow, his death will not help our family because we also pity his family and relatives,” Dimaculangan said during a press conference here Thursday.

Dimaculangan is the parish priest of St. Therese Parish in Talisay, Lipa. He said there are three priests and three military men in their family.

“Capital punishment is not the solution (to prevent crimes), but what is taught in universities on how to defend the victims especially the poor,” he said.

“Death penalty increases the culture of hating persons but it may not propagate the issue of hating the crime” he added.

Dimaculangan described his niece as sweet and kind. She promised to her mom who passed away to finish her college.

“Siya lamang po ang bata na kahit murahin mo nang murahin hindi nagagalit, napakadali niyang pasayahin regaluhan mo lang ng isangmeryenda o i-date mo lang sa sine naglulundag na siya sa tuwa na para bang nalilimutan niyang siya ay dalaga na,” he said.

Lipa police chief, Lt. Col. Ramon Balauag, said Benedicto’s live-in partner, Angelica Roco, had complained a few months ago that he had been beating her.

The couple have two children and Roco is three months pregnant.

She told police Benedicto has been taking illegal drugs. Police investigators said there were indications that he had taken drugs before he committed the crime.

Benedicto said he was just drunk at the time but refused to give further details.

He admitted he had crush on Fidex because she was kind and always waved to him and the other guards whenever she entered the subdivision.

Balauag said a drug test on Benedicto after his arrest was inconclusive because it was made a few days after the crime.

Benedicto had admitted he was involved in stealing a carabao in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro, a long time ago.

Police also learned that he is not a licensed security guard but was hired by the agency that provides security to the subdivision.

READ MORE: La Salle college student found dead in Batangas

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