They were sweethearts and schoolmates and their breakup and jealousy could have angered the ex- boyfriend of Christine Lee Silawan which led to her gruesome murder. The accused is now facing murder charge and violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act (R.A. 10175) after the National Bureau of Investigation- Central Visayas (NBI-CEVRO) filed it last Monday at the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutors Office. The brutal murder could have been trigerred by jealousy, the NBI theorized, as the accused saw the victim to have talked with another guy last March 10.
Christine and the accused were sweethearts based on their exchanged of chat messages in the internet and had broke up last February 28. “The chats would reveal that they have a relationship. Nakikita namin sa CCTV footage parang ang ano jealousy…nagseselos siguro kasi makikita natin sa sequence,” NBI CEVRO Assistant Regional Director Dominador Cimafranca told the press in a briefing after the filing of the charges. Christine and the suspect were schoolmates in the Maribago National High School. The victim, 16, was in Grade 9 while the accused who is from Sitio Datag, Maribago is in Grade 7. He is 17.
The jealousy was triggered after the accused saw Christine to have talked to an altar boy of the Sacred Heart Parish in Barangay Pajac. That day they agreed to meet based on their chat messages. Christine then just finished serving as alms collector for the 4pm mass and when the accused arrived he saw Christine to have ate “balut (fertilized duck egg) with the altar boy. Based on the CCTV footage at the nearby Pajac barangay hall, the accused approached Christine when the altar boy went back to the church premises to answer the call of nature.
They walked towards a nearby subdivision where they were last seen together past 6 pm. NBI Regional Director Tomas Enrile clarified however that even with the filing of the case, they are continuing their investigation as the accused could have done it along with some others. “We are not making a conclusion na siya lang kaya nga we are not closing the investigation of this case may mga follow-up pa tayong ginagawa,” Enrile clarified. Lourdes Silawan Pardillo, the mother of Christine also would not believe that the ex-boyfriend of her daughter was alone.
“Dili man gyud ko makatuo nga siya rang usa ang nagbuhat sa ingon niana. Siguro naa gyud na siyay mga kauban” Lourdes said who was present in the briefing and presscon with her estranged husband, Mario. When her corpse was found in a grassy lot in Barangay Bankal, Christine’s face was skinned to the bone. The NBI probers recovered 11 CCTV footages and have examined the cellphone of the victim where they traced the exchange of chat messages. They also examined the Facebook account of Christine where they discovered that the accused had been tagged always by the victim everytime she will post.
The accused who also is known by his alias as “Epot” is using the screename of CJ Diaz. According to Director Enrile, they are extra cautious with their investigation as the accused is also a minor. “I think we are prohibited to make any comment on that, we have to respect the right of the accuse. He has a right to a counsel considering that he is a minor kaya medyo careful tayo sa bagay na yan,” he said when asked if they were able to get an extra-judicial confession from the accused in admitting the crime.
They said they entered the house of the suspect last Saturday based on a search warrant issued by Cebu City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 11 Judge Ramon Daomilas. They did not recover the murder weapon but have found clothings that the accused wore which will be subjected to forensic test to determine traces of human blood and DNA test. The NBI admitted they only have circumstancial evidence for now but they are going to have further investigation to determine the exact number of culprits.
They also admitted having no eye witness to the actual commission of the crime. The accused boyfriend have abrasions in his arms however which is an indication that he fought with the victim. An NBI operative said that they chanced on the boyfriend watching a basketball game in the neighborhood when they arrived to serve the search warrant. “Nagtan-aw siya ug basketball pag-abot namo,” the agent told Newsph.org.
The filing of charges against the accused boyfriend totally sidelined the earlier speculation that she could have been killed by the group of a certain Jonas Bueno, who was arrested in Davao City last Friday. Bueno was tagged as responsible in the killing of a farmer in Danao City last January 11. Like Silawan, the victim, Trinidad Batucan was also skinned to death.
Silawan whose face was skinned to the bone also also bore 30 stab wounds. She was naked down to her waist when found. Some of her body parts were missing, her tonque was plucked out, while her esophagus and trachea (wind pipe) were ripped. Her right ear was knifed.