Christine Lee murder update: Teen suspect to be treated as an adult

By Morexette Marie B. Erram |March 21,2019 - 12:46 PM

The 17-year-old suspect (center face covered with cloth) is escorted by NBI agents to the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office on Monday, March 18, 2019. | CDN file photo

Cebu City, Philippines — The 17-year-old teenager tagged as the suspect in the killing of Christine Lee Silawan will be charged as an adult, and not as a minor. 

Chief Superintendent Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) told investigators that the suspect is already old enough to know what he was doing. 

Read related story: NBI-7 chief: Suspect in Christine Lee Silawan murder, 17-year-old boy, nabbed

“According sa atong chief of police (sa Lapu-Lapu City), maghatag na ug certification ang DSWD that (the suspect) naay discernment nga kabalo siya unsay gipangbuhat niya,” said Sinas in a press interview on Thursday, March 21, 2019.

(According to the chief of police in Lapu-Lapu City, DSWD will give a certification that the suspect acted with discernment that he knew what he was doing.)

Read related story: NBI recovers porn materials, other contents from ‘destroyed’ phone of Silawan’s murder suspect

“Wala pa mi kakuha sa full results pero iyahang mental ability showed that he is above average. So therefore he knows what he is doing, and ma-filan gyud siya ug kaso,” he added.

(We didn’t get the full results yet but his mental ability showed the is above average. So therefore he knows what he is doing, and we can file a case against him.)

As a result, Sinas said the suspect cannot invoke the fact that he is below 18-years-old as means to avoid possible criminal liabilities. 

Read related story: NBI-7 confident of case against 17-year-old suspect in Christine Lee Silawan’s murder

“So kung murder ang gifile sa NBI, dili siya pwede maka invoke nga minor pa siya. Kay ang assessment sa DSWD nga he will be charged as an adult already,” Sinas said.

(So if the NBI filed a murder case against him, he can’t invoke that he is still a minor. Because the assessment of the DSWD is that he will be charged as an adult already.) 

The PRO-7 chief said that the suspect, believed to be Silawan’s former boyfriend and schoolmate, is now under the custody of DSWD. 

Read related story: Christine Lee murder update: Camp of suspect says evidence against them is ‘little and weak’

He was arrested last Saturday, March 16 in his residence at Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City. 

The suspect’s camp, however, is confident that the evidence against their client is weak. /bmjo

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