Lapu teen wasn’t the first murder victim in Cebu whose face was skinned to the bone

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram March 12,2019 - 03:46 PM

Cebu City, Philippines — Christine Silawan, the 16-year-old high school student who was found lifeless on a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City on Monday, March 11, 2019, may not be the first murder victim in Cebu whose face was skinned to the bone.

Following the death of Silawan, social media went abuzz, and a photo of a 62-year-old man from Danao City who also suffered the same fate resurfaced. 

The Danao City Police Station confirmed that a farmer in one of the city’s mountain barangays was killed last January, and like Silawan, his face, and the topmost portion of his chest, were skinned, too. 

Read related story: Body of 16-year-old church collector whose face was skinned found in Lapu-Lapu City

Superintendent Maribel Getigan, chief of Danao Police Station, said the victim was identified as Trening Batucan. 

Getigan said Batucan, a farmer, was killed after he refused to give in to the demands of a notorious group of thieves and murderers from Carmen town in northern Cebu known as the Buenos Brothers. 

“There are three of them — Jonas, Jovie, and Junrey,” said Getigan.

Batucan was found dead last January 11, 2019. 

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

She added that the Buenos Brothers topped Carmen’s list of most wanted criminals, and reportedly established a cult in the remote areas in the town. 

“Based on the accounts of residents from the hinterland villages, these Buenos Brothers pillage farmers’ lands. And if the farmers refuse to cooperate, they will kill them,” Getigan said. 

“They are former rebels but instead of being law-abiding citizens, they spread fear among the mountain barangays in Danao City and Carmen. This is also one of the reasons why farmers leave the mountains recently,” she added. 

According to Getigan, a shootout transpired between the three suspects and operatives from the Danao City Police Station two days after Batucan was killed. 

“Jovie and Junrey were killed during the encounter but the other one, Jonas, still remains at large,” she said.

Since both the faces of Silawan and Batucan were skinned when their corpses were found, does this mean both murders are related to each other? Or could the remaining brother, Jonas, be responsible for the Lapu-Lapu teen’s murder?

At the moment, Getigan couldn’t link both brutal murders.

“We cannot establish a link between the two yet. Indeed, both victims were skinned but in our case, it was an elderly male, a farmer, and not only was his face skinned but also portions of his chest,” said Getigan.

“And also, based on our police monitoring, Jonas is reportedly hiding in the remote areas of Danao City’s mountain barangays,” she added. /bmjo

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TAGS: Danao City, lapu-lapu, Murder, victim

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