LAPU-LAPU CITY- The 17 year-old ex-boyfriend of Christine Lee Silawan was fully aware of his actions. “That means he has faculty to determine his action,” Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor Ruso Zaragoza said. Zaragosa commented on a “Social Case Study Report” that was conducted on the accused, a Grade 7 student who is schoolmate of the 16 year-old victim. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which earlier filed murder charges against the accused described him and Christine as having ‘romantic relationship.”
Jealousy could have triggered the crime as they had just breakup and if established base on facts and evidence, the accused did it with “discerment.” Social worker officer Leticia Patalinghug of the Lapu-Lapu City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) conducted the case study on the accused minor who was classified as “Child In Conflict with the Law (CICL). “The result of the family’s functioning checklist indicates that he has a functional family, and the level of moral development tools indicates that ____ can determine between RIGHT and WRONG,” a portion of the report dated Mar. 18, 2019 reads, of which NewsPh.org obtained a copy.
The DSWD social case study report on the 17 year old accused on the Christine Silawan killing
“The undersigned social worker found out that the level of functions is NORMAL (emphasis ours) and acted with DISCERNMENT,” it added. According to Zaragoza, the report which was submitted to their office form part of the evidence that they are going to evaluate whether the murder charge in relation to violation of Cybercrime Prevention Act (RA 10175) will be elevated to the court or not. Zaragosa formed a three-man panel which will resolve the case within fifteen days.
Assistant City Prosecutor Jude Henritz Ycong is the panel head with Prosecutors Jan Birondo and Angelo Barios as members. The case study report is vital because under the Juvenile and Welfare Act of 2006 (RA 9344) all CICL who are 15 years old or under is exempted from criminal liablity while those who are 15 but below 18 years will also be exempted from criminal liability unless he/she has acted with “discernment (Sec. 6. Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility of RA 9344).
The accused minor is now in the custody of the Homecare Center for Children in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City (not in the DSWD regional office as earlier reported) which is run by the Lapu-Lapu City local government unit. According to the NBI, the accused minor was the last person seen with Christine before the victim was killed. Christine then just finished serving as alms collector in the Sacred Heart Parish of Barangay Pajac when the accused surfaced last March 10.
Based on their internet chat messages, they agreed to meet but the accused saw that Christine was with another guy, an altar boy who ate “balut” with the victim. When the altar boy left to answer the call of nature, the accused approached the victim and they walked towards a private subdivision. A closed circuit television (CCTV) footages captured what happened where it indicated that the victim and the accused quarelled.
That could have trigerred the crime according to the NBI investigators because the accused got jealous with thea altar boy. The NBI do not have an eyewitness to the actual killing though but they said that they have many circumstancial evidence. The evidence which are now being evaluated by the team of Prosecutor Ycong included the 11 CCTV footages where the two were together and their exchanged of internet chat messages along with the Facebook posts where Christine allegedly would tagged the accused indicating their romantic relationships.
They are schoolmates in Maribago National High School where Christine was in Grade 9. Christine’s face was skinned to the bone when found in a grassy lot in Barangay Bankal. She was found half naked from the waist down. She suffered 30 stab wounds while some parts of her body were missing, her tongue was removed while her esophagus and trachea (wind pipe) were ripped off. Her right ear was knifed. The NBI however is still conducting a follow-up investigation to determine whether the accused acted alone or not.
The NBI raided the house of the accused after they were able to secure a search warrant from the court. They found a damaged cellphone which the accused may have use in his communication with the victim and garments that he wore which is being examined for traces of human blood and DNA testing. No murder weapon was recovered however.