Lawyer denies allegations of harassing Silawan case witness

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo April 04,2019 - 03:04 AM

Lawyer Vincent Isles, legal counsel of the suspect in the killing of Christine Lee Silawan, denies allegation that he and his client’s camp harassed one of the case’s witnesses. | File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines— The camp of lawyer Vincent Isles, the counsel of the 17-year-old suspect in the brutal slaying of Christine Lee Silawan, challenged the witness, who claimed of being harassed by him and the suspect’s family, to file charges against him.

Isles, in a phone interview on the evening of April 3, 2019, vehemently denied that harassment and trespassing transpired when he accompanied the family of his client, a minor, to the house of the witness in Barangay Maribago in the afternoon of March 31.

Read more: Christine Lee murder update: Witness files complaint of harassment, trespassing against suspect’s camp

Based on the blotter certification obtained by CDN Digital, the witness, who begged off from being named for security concerns, claimed that Isles, the suspect’s mother and another family member, intruded into the house at around 4:57 p.m. and forcibly interviewed her “despite warning for them to leave.”

The police blotter also claimed that a media personality was with Isles’ group when they went to the witness’ house.

But according to Isles, they only went to the witness’ house because the latter expressed intent to execute an affidavit to refute what was written on the affidavit submitted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-7) to the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office.

“As early as March 19, the day after the inquest of my client and the day I was engaged [into the case], gi-adto na sa mama ni CICL (child in conflict with the law) kay paryente ra man ni sila, unya gipangutana kun unsa katinuod iyang gisulti sa NBI. Niingon siya nga dili to mao iyang intention,” Isles said.

Isles claimed that the witness, who is now accusing him of harassment, has confided to him that the affidavit submitted by the NBI-7 saying that she identified the CICL to be the boy in the CCTV with Silawan was erroneous.

The lawyer said he even offered to help the witness execute an affidavit that would refute the earlier affidavit submitted by the NBI-7.

Isles recounted that he was finalizing the affidavit of the witnesses at the suspect’s house in Barangay Maribago on March 31.

He said the witness repeatedly went to and from the house of the suspect but every time he started interviewing her for her affidavit, the latter would give alibis to go somewhere else.

“At around 3 or 4 p.m., niingon siya nga mangita sa siya og kabilinan sa bata nga iyang gibantayan. Wala na siya nibalik ato so ang akong kuyog [a media practitioner] said nga asa man diay na ilaha kay ato na lang adtuon,” Isles said.

Isles said he, the media practitioner and his partner, and the family of the CICL went to the witness’ house.

However, he refuted that they trespassed the residence of the witness and that they harassed her.

Isles added that the engagement between the CICL’s mother and the witness was captured in a Facebook Live broadcast in the media practitioner’s outlet’s Facebook page.

“I do not know kun unsay nakaingon niya nga iyang gipadako og ingon ani. Tingali napiit na pud na siya,” Isles said.

Isles challenged the witness to file a complaint against him so that he could answer them properly in the right forum.

Isles admitted that he was told by an official of the NBI-7 that the agency will be filing charges of grave threats against him as well as seek for his disbarment because of the incident.

“In an atmosphere where lawyers are being killed left and right, kun file-an ta og kaso, okay na tingali na. Part man na sa kinabuhi kung naa tay baruganan. I am just doing what is right and I believe the Supreme Court would see nga di man tingali na ground for disbarment kun naa kay barugan,” said Isles. / celr

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