CHR-7: In pursuit of Lapu teen slay suspects, human rights must still be upheld

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio March 12,2019 - 03:25 PM

Rocks formed to a cross were placed in the spot where 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan was found dead in Barangay Pajac in Lapu-Lapu City. CDN Digital photo | Tonee Despojo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Amid the public outrage on the brutal murder of a Lapu-Lapu teen, the Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) said that law enforcement agencies must still work within the boundaries of the law in seeking justice.

Lawyer Arvin Odron, the director of CHR-7, said he understands the sentiments of the public with regards to the brutal killing of 16-year-old Christine Silawan, with many calling on the death penalty to be imposed on the suspects of the murder.

Read related story: P100K bounty for any lead on suspects of Lapu student’s murder

But Ordon reminded everyone that human rights must still be upheld in the pursuit of the suspects.  

“Kasabot man ta nga naglagot ang mga tawo. Naglagot sad ta. Pero dili man nato na sila pwede ipadeath penalty kay that has been outlawed in 2006,” said Odron.

Odron said that, at most, the suspects, when proven guilty, will face the highest penalties of the land, which is reclusion perpetua or lifetime imprisonment.

Read related story: Netizens want death penalty for ‘monsters’ who killed Grade 9 student from Lapu

Reclusion perpetua means that the accused will spend no less than 40 years in prison while life imprisonment means the accused will remain in prison for the rest of his or her life.

Odron said that they will be supporting the law enforcement agencies such as the police and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the pursuit of the three suspects of Christine’s death.

The CHR-7 is conducting it’s own investigation to help the law enforcement agencies to find the suspects faster.

Read related story: CHR to conduct parallel investigation on murder of 16-year-old Lapu-Lapu church collector

However, Odron said that they will also be monitoring the pursuit of these suspects to make sure that the police or the NBI do not violate human rights if and when they are arrested.

“Bantayan sad nato nga ang mga suspects ig dakop nila, wala pud giviolate ila human rights,” said Odron.

Odron urged the police to conduct accurate operations and make sure that any person of interest or suspect arrested will not be ‘brutally’ forced to admit the crime.

“Let’s also avoid arresting the innocent. Kay basin ilang dakpon nya wala gyod diay sala,” said Odron. /bmjo

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