Suspect in Cebu teen's slay to return to DSWD custody, says lawyer


Posted at Mar 28 2019 09:21 AM | Updated as of Mar 28 2019 05:12 PM

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MANILA--A teen suspect in the murder of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan in Cebu province will be voluntarily placed back Thursday in a care facility run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, his lawyer said. 

The 17-year-old suspect was released from DSWD custody last week because he was arrested without a warrant several days after the crime was committed. President Rodrigo Duterte, however, ordered the teen's rearrest on Tuesday.

"We expect that there will be other people including the real suspects who might thrive on that premise of the President that our client should be picked up and re-arrested again," said the teen's lawyer, Vincent Isles. 

"We have decided with the mother that we will voluntarily commit to a child care facility the child today," he added. 

The President, he surmised, did not have time to read the whole case file and "has been misadvised, misinformed about the real situation." 

"Perhaps he has been informed that this was a proper warrantless arrest. But there has been preliminary finding by the Office of the Prosecutor of Lapu-Lapu City that it did not fall under the valid warrantless arrest," the lawyer said. 

The National Bureau of Investigation has filed a motion for reconsideration against the Office of the Prosecutor's ruling. The suspect's camp will lodge an opposition against this, said Isles. 

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 police are looking into the possibility that the killing could have been an initiation rite of a local fraternity.