Tricycle driver Jose 'Joey' Montecillo, suspect in the rape of a 17-year-old UPLB freshman, near the UPLB campus on Wednesday night. He was arrested by police Friday morning. Photo from Francis Faulve, ABS-CBN News
MANILA (3rd UPDATE) - A 17-year-old freshman student of the University of the Philippines in Los Banos (UPLB) was raped by a tricycle driver near the school campus Wednesday night, authorities said Thursday.
Laguna Police Director Senior Superintendent Florendo Saligao and UPLB vice-chancellor Dr. Enrique Tolentino confirmed the incident.
The victim had just come from a school quiz contest and rode a tricycle in Barangay Maahas at around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
While traveling along the Buot area, the tricycle driver told the victim that they had run out of gas and asked her to alight from the vehicle.
The suspect then forcibly brought the girl to a grassy rice field where he threatened to kill her before raping her, police said.
The victim was abandoned by the tricycle driver after the incident.
A security guard of the university saw the victim walking in the area. She was then brought to a hospital.
SUSPECT ARRESTED, CONFESSES
In an interview with ABS-CBN's Francis Faulve at 3:30 a.m. Friday, Saligao told radio DZMM they arrested the suspect, tricycle driver Jose 'Joey' Montecillo, at 12:45 a.m. Friday.
Montecillo, 26, allegedly confessed to raping the UPLB student.
"Walang siyang masabi kung 'di pinagsisihan niya," Saligao said.
Saligao said Montecillo was hiding in his aunt's house in Calauan, Laguna when arrested by police.
He said police got a break when they learned from Montecillo's wife, who has just given birth, that she received a letter from Montecillo asking for forgiveness for his crime. He had told her he was going to leave and hide.
Montecillo has 5 children.
Saligao said the student did not take the tricycle at the tricycle terminal, which is manned by a barangay tanod, because of the long queue. She decided to walk away from the terminal and wait for a tricycle along the way. She was offered a ride by Montecillo while she was walking alone.
He said the girl was raped at a dark irrigated rice field.
The incident occurred on IBP Road, where another UPLB student, Given Grace Cebanico, was raped and killed in October 2011.
Tolentino expressed concern over the rape incident since it happened in almost the same area where Cebanico was murdered.
He said the Los Banos local government is doing everything to ensure security of students.
Tolentino said more street lights and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras had been installed since the Cebanico rape-slay case happened.
The university is helping the 17-year-old victim with her medical and academic needs. As of posting, the girl had already been discharged from the hospital.
- with reports from Francis Faulve and Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News; Ronilo Dagos, dzMM