By Philippine News Agency
CEBU CITY — The police announced on Tuesday that a PHP100,000 reward is up for anyone who could give information leading to the arrest of the suspects in the gruesome killing of a 16-year-old girl in Lapu-Lapu City.
The murder of Grade 9 student Christine Lee Silawan, a church offering collector, has earned public condemnation on social media.
A “Justice for Christine Silawan” Facebook page was created by netizens.
Another page, that of The Philippine Pageantry, issued a public notice with hashtag #JusticeForChristine, and described the crime as “monstrous and heinous act that rocked the country”.
Lapu-Lapu City Police Office chief, Colonel Lemuel Obon, said the victim could have been raped before her face was skinned and her body dumped on a vacant lot in Barangay Bangkal, Lapu-Lapu City.
Obon said the police is conducting a manhunt against the three men suspected to be the perpetrators of the crime. They were the last persons seen with Silawan after she left the Sacred Heart Parish Church in Bangkal last Sunday and before her body was found on Monday morning.
“We’re tracing the whereabouts of the three suspects,” Obon said.
According to the police, Silawan failed to come home on Sunday after she asked her mother’s permission to go to church to serve as collector during offertory. She and her family are residents of Sitio Soong I in Barangay Mactan.
Obon said it was on Monday morning when the police received a report about the body of a girl dumped on an uninhabited property in Bangkal.
The mother, who earlier reported her lost child to the police, later identified the body as that of Christine’s through the shirt she wore.
The police surmised that the perpetrators were under the influence of illegal drugs, considering the brutality of the killing.
The police said the girl’s face was skinned, exposing her skull. Her body was naked from the waist down.
Obon, however, said the police is yet to get official findings from the medico-legal officer to determine if the girl was raped.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) expressed its condemnation of the murder of Silawan in a statement posted on the agency’s Facebook page.
Three CHR investigators were sent to Lapu-Lapu City on Monday, said CHR-7 director Arvin Odron.