Despite extrajudicial confession, LLCPO to present witnesses vs Llenes
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Even if Renato Llenes admits to killing Christine Lee Silawan in court, the police will still have to present their witnesses and evidence to ensure a lifetime jail term for the church collector’s self-confessed murder.
Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor Ruso Zaragoza said that since murder is a heinous crime that entails a punishment of reclusion perpetua, the court will still hear testimonies from witnesses and look into the evidence presented before coming up with a verdict.
During the filing of the murder complaint at the City Prosecutors Office, the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO), the lead agency handling the Silawan case, presented at least seven witnesses who identified Llenes as the last person seen with Silawan when the girl was still alive.
Silawan, a Grade 9 student at the Maribago National High School, who was found dead in a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal early morning of March 11, 2019.
Llenes admitted to having killed Silawan shortly after his arrest on April 9.
He was supposed to be arraigned on Wednesday morning, May 29, but it was postponed because he was not accompanied by a lawyer when he appeared before Branch 70 of the Lapu-Lapu City Regional Trial Court (RTC). Llenes arraignment was instead moved to June 7.
The suspect said in an interview with CDN Digital that he could only wish that Silawan’s family would forgive him for his crime.
However, none of Silawan’s relatives showed up during the Wednesday morning arraignment.
With the refusal of the girl’s family to act as complainants in the murder charge, Police Colonel Limuel Obon, LLCPO director, will have to stand as the nominal complainant in the case.
Lourdes, Silawan’s mother, have refused to sign the complaint sheet against Llenes because she wanted her daughter’s former boyfriend, who was earlier arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), included as among the respondents of the murder charge.
But the police did not heed her request because their evidence point only at Llenes as Silawan’s killer. /dcb
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