Silawan murder case: Arraignment of self-confessed killer set
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Despite the “no-show” of the family of slain teen Christine Lee Silawan, the murder case against her self-confessed assailant will start grinding in court.
Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor Ruso Zaragoza told CDN Digital that the court has set the arraignment of Renato Llenes, the 42-year-old man who confessed to killing the 16-year-old church collector, to next Wednesday, May 29, 2019.
The case is now pending before the Branch 70 of the Lapu-Lapu City Regional Trial Court (RTC), presided by Judge Christine Muga-Abad.
Zaragoza said the case has been filed in court last Friday, May 17, despite Lourdes Silawan, Christine Lee’s mother, not being among the complainants of the case.
The panel of prosecutors of the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office issued a joint resolution on May 10, recommending that a murder case be filed in court against Llenes based on the circumstantial and material evidence submitted by the police.
The resolution also dismissed the murder in relation to cybercrime charge filed by the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) against the victim’s 18-year-old former boyfriend because of the “weakness” of the evidence submitted.
Lourdes, despite saying that she is seeking justice for her daughter, refused to stand as the private complainant in the filing of the murder charge against Llenes before the Prosecutors Office.
“Ako unta to siya nga gipaabot aron siya ang mo-file sa kaso pero wala man gyud siya moanhi. Giadto pod na siya sa mga reporters sa iyang balay pero wa na man siya didto,” Zaragoza said.
(I waited for her so she could be the one to file the case but she didn’t come. The reporters also went to her house but she wasn’t there.)
Lourdes wanted the 18-year-old suspect to still be implicated in the case filed by the police, a request that the police did not heed because they did not have any evidence linking him in the case.
Christine Lee is the Grade 9 student from Maribago National High School who was found dead on a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal. Her body was severely mutilated while her face was skinned to the bone.
In his extrajudicial confession, Llenes admitted to the crime and claimed that he did it alone.
Zaragoza assured that the absence of a private complainant in the case will not affect the gravity of the case against Llenes.
“This won’t affect the case since this is a public crime. We in the prosecutors office can just file the case without her signature or participation,” Zaragoza explained. /bmjo
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