CEBU CITY - The police are looking into the possibility that the killing of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu could have been an initiation rite of a local fraternity.
Police Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, director of Police Regional Office (PRO) in Central Visayas, said they are considering this as a possible motive to the gruesome murder, but has not yet found any evidence that would link to the crime.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Central Visayas, on its part, is also not ruling out that the victim may have been a subject of an initiation rite.
Some residents of Sitio Mahayahay are also convinced that a local fraternity may have been responsible for the crime.
Teenagers usually loiter the area, where they would drink and hang out until the wee hours, they said.
Silawan, a Grade 9 student of Maribago National High School, was found dead in a vacant lot in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Bankal on March 11. Her body was mutilated and her face was skinned off.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on March 16 arrested the victim's alleged boyfriend based on surveillance clips linking him to the crime.
The Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor's Office, in a resolution made on March 22, ordered the release of the 17-year-old boy because he was arrested without a warrant several days after the crime was committed.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday has ordered the re-arrest of the teen suspect.
"Di ako papayag ganunin ang bata. Binalatan mo ang bata mahuli ka ilang days tapos palayain? Imposible ang hot pursuit na 24 hours lang. Six days it's still hot pursuit," he said.
- With a report from Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News