Duterte wants Cebu teen rape-slay case suspect rearrested

Published March 27, 2019, 8:54 AM

by Patrick Garcia


By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte said Tuesday evening that he ordered the re-arrest of the 17-year-old suspect behind the brutal killing of Christine Silawan who was found mutilated and her face skinned off in Cebu early this month.

President Rodrigo Duterte  (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte

In a speech late Tuesday, Duterte said he called the prosecutor who ordered the release of the suspect who was earlier reported to be the victim’s ex-lover.

“‘Yung nakapatay sa bata, ni-release and they act upon orders of the prosecutor. Tinawagan ko siya pagka-umaga (The one who killed Christine, they released her upon the orders of the prosecutor. I called them immediately the following morning),” Duterte said.

“Sabi ko i-recall mo ‘yang ano mo order ninyo of dismissal (I told them to recall their dismissal order) and have the guy rearrested,” he added.

Last week, the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office ordered the release of the 17-year-old suspect because the arrest made by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was supposedly invalid since it was done without a warrant.

According to Duterte, fiscals should know the definition of a hot pursuit operation.

“Kasi fiscal ako, fiscal ka. Marami man tayong abugado dito. Iyong interpretation ng hot pursuit (I am a fiscal, you are a fiscal. There are many lawyers here. Think about how you interpret a hot pursuit operation),” he said.

“Right after the commission of the crime, there is a hot pursuit. Continuous ‘yan hanggang mahuli mo (That will continue until you catch the perpetrator). Then you file a case,” he added.

“Hindi ako papayag na ganunin mo lang ang tao especially oppression. Patayin mo ang bata? Balatan mo tapos magsibat ka lang? Mahuli ka after six days tapos ma-release ka kasi hindi hot pursuit (I will not allow that you killed that victim and you will just be released. You are arrested and then be released six days later because it was not a hot pursuit)?” he continued.

“For as long as there is somebody who conducted investigation and made a follow-up everyday, that is still hot pursuit to me. Imposible ‘yang sabihin mo na hot pursuit 24 hours lang ngayon (It’s impossible that it should only last for 24 hours),” he said.

Silawan, a 16-year-old Grade 9 student was found dead in Lapu-Lapu City on March 11. Her body was discovered after she was deemed missing when she did not return after serving at the Church one Sunday this month.

The teenage suspect was nabbed by the NBI at his house in Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City a week after Silawan was killed.

Security camera footage showed that the suspect was with Silawan before she was killed in the evening of March 10.

Earlier, Duterte said Silawan was probably killed by someone under the influence of illegal drugs, and not by a cult as some people suspect because of how the victim was skinned and her internal organs taken out.