Three-hour-long solidarity vigils held in honor of the late Karen Kaye Montebon, a 17-year-old BS Accountancy student of the University of San Carlos, who was found murdered in her home on Tuesday this week, were held in both the basketball court of Talamban Campus and the Wrocklage Yard of the university’s Downtown Campus last Thursday, Sept. 17.

At around 4:30 p.m., in light of her death and the search for justice, scores of people, massed by the student body, gathered in both campuses to mourn and send fervent prayers to the bereaved and her relatives.

Together with the Office of the Student’s Affairs (OSA), the Campus Ministry Office, represented by Fr. Rogelio Bag-ao Sr., SVD, in Talamban Campus and Rev. Fr. Sherwin Tristan Aromin, SVD, in Main Campus, took part in leading a prayer vigil titled “Prayer Vigil for those Victims of Senseless Killings: A Call for Justice and Vigilance”.

In Talamban Campus, Faith Chloe Bendanillo and Katherine Lozada, BSA-1 students and blockmates of Karen’s, shared their cherished experiences with the girl whom they described as ‘the shy type’; they both added that she was not one to be noticed so easily, but that she would be remembered by her smile, which was her ‘identity and made her stand out’.

Likewise, a number of Karen’s closest friends; as well as the Chairman of the Department of Accountancy, Mrs. Eleanor Paclijan; and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Fr. Anthony Salas, SVD, spoke in front of the mass of students in the Main Campus to send their prayers and remembrance.

“We are continuously raped,” Pamelle Gallardo, an SSC councilor, added as she shared her heartfelt stance regarding not only Karen’s passing, but also the similar tragedies the Lumad people, Jennifer Laude and many more have experienced in our society.

The solidarity event concluded with rows of candles tied with black ribbons spread across the platforms of the basketball court and the Wrocklage Yard as offers in her honor and reminders that justice for senseless killings must be brought about.

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