Cebu rape-slay case sparks calls for death penalty revival

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2019 08:50 PM

MANILA - Concerned citizens have taken to social media to express their support for capital punishment for heinous crimes like rape.

This, after 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan was found dead in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. She was reportedly raped and skinned to the skull.

Silawan was identified as a student of the Maribago High School. She was first reported missing by her mother after she failed to return home from serving as collector in church on Sunday.

Police are looking at the involvement of three suspects in the slay. 

On Tuesday afternoon, the hashtag #YesToDeathPenalty made it to the top trending topics in the Philippines on Twitter, with netizens calling for the death of those responsible for Silawan's horrific slay. 

Netizens cited how "sick" the crime was and that no girl or woman should ever feel unsafe while out alone. 

She was also reportedly a fan of Korean boy group BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan), which has a large following not only in the Philippines, but also worldwide.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for the revival of the death penalty as he wages his war on drugs and pursues an anti-crime campaign.

The House of Representatives in March 2017 approved a bill restoring the death penalty on third and final reading, but its counterpart measure in the Senate remains pending as some senators are not keen on calls to bring back such form of capital punishment.

The initial proposal at the House listed 21 crimes punishable by death, but it was later trimmed to four, including plunder, treason, and rape from the list of covered crimes, and then reduced further to only drug-related offenses. 

The Philippines was the first Asian country to abolish death penalty in 1987, but the Ramos administration reinstated it in 1993 in response to allegedly increasing crime rates. It was abolished again under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006.