Despite turning 18, suspect in Silawan slay to stay in youth care facility

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo April 04,2019 - 10:32 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. The teen suspect has just turned 18, on April 4.  | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The suspect in the brutal killing of Christine Lee Silawan will remain in the youth care facility despite turning into legal age today, April 4.

Lawyer Vincent Isles, the suspect’s legal counsel, said his client would remain at the Home Care Center run by the Lapu-Lapu City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) because they continued to fear for his security.

“Yes [he will still stay there] kay sa RA 9344 (Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006), subject gihapon ang children in conflict with the law (CICL) until 21 years old,” Isles told CDN Digital.

Read more: Teen suspect in Christine Lee Silawan slay back in home care

Under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, the court will decide whether a CICL who has turned 18 years old will be discharged from government custody or if he will be committed in the facility until he turns 21.

“If said child in conflict with the law has reached eighteen (18) years of age while under suspended sentence, the court shall determine whether to discharge the child in accordance with this Act, to order execution of sentence, or to extend the suspended sentence for a certain specified period or until the child reaches the maximum age of 21 years,” Section 40 of RA 9344 reads.

Isles also emphasized that his client’s stay in the facility was not a form of detention but rather, in the form of a “protective custody.”

Read more: Christine Lee Silawan’s family ‘shocked’ and ‘confused’ over suspect’s release

The suspect, who was arrested by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) last March 16, was ordered released by the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutors Office on March 22 after it resolved that the arrest did not fall under the principle of hot pursuit and therefore invalid.

But barely a week later on March 28, Isles and the suspect’s family voluntarily submitted the boy back to the facility due to threats on his life.

Read more: Teen suspect in Silawan slay to be sent back to youth care center ‘for his protection’

As the suspect turned 18 today, Isles said his organization, the Cebu Action Group (CAG), made a small gathering for the children at the youth care facility.

Isles said the activity was not only for the boy suspect’s birthday but an advance celebration of the 13th anniversary of the passage of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Law, which would be on April 28./dbs

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TAGS: care, Christine, CICL, facility, Isles, legal age, Silawan, youth

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