A staunch critic of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is the lawyer of the 17 year-old suspected killer of Christine Lee Silawan. His name, Atty. Vincent Isles, President of the Cebu Action Group (C.A.G.) and The Silent Majority (TSM-Cebu Chapter). Isles in his several Facebook posts defended his client (he calls him child-X) even assailing the manner how the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has handled the investigation and is confident that the boy will go scot-free as the evidence are “weak.”
The lawyer particularly cited a jurisprudence wherein a person who was last seen with the victim was acquitted by the Supreme Court. In PP (People of the Philippines) vs Isidro Mijares [G.R. No. 126042. October 8, 1998], accused-appelant was acquitted because it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that he killed a 6 year-old girl in Zamboanga City sometime in 1995. Mijares, a carpenter mason who was described as drunk, was seen as the last person who was with the child before she was found dead which the SC ruled was not enough basis to convict him.
“In a case which reached the Supreme Court, the fact that the accused was the last person seen with the victim towards the area where the victim was later found was not considered enough evidence to find the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” Isles said in his post last March 18. This is also the present circumstance in the murder of Silawan as “child-X” was also seen as the last person who was with the victim. NBI Regional Director Tomas Enrile reasoned however that they are still conducting further investigation and would prove their case “scientifically.”
The NBI is still trying to determine if child-X was with others and are trying to match the DNA of the parents of Christene Lee to the blood stains of the cap and other clothing of interest which the suspect allegedly wore during the commission of the crime. While Isles is defending the suspect, C.A.G. earlier however issued a statement in condemning the brutal murder of Christene Lee. It is not supportive of the call to reimpose death penalty though but it wanted an overhaul in the justice system.
Among others, it said, “the solution to crime is not the re-imposition of the death penalty, but a justice system that makes sure that those who commit crimes are brought to justice fairly and promptly and that the truly guilty are punished, irrespective of their wealth, connections, and influence – whether an estambay or a multi-millionaire, a murderer or a rapist should go to jail.” In August last year, TSM-Cebu led also by Isles, allied with the other local cause oriented groups to denounce the spate of killings in Cebu.
Collectively called, Nagpakabanang Sugbuanon alang sa Kinabuhi ug Hustisya (Nasukhu), they marched towards the Camp Sergio Osmena, Sr., the Police Regional Office (PRO 7) headquarters and submitted a manifesto to Regional Police Director Debold Sinas expressing their concern. So that’s it, the defense lawyer of child-X, Atty. Vincent Isles, who in his FB post last March 20, wrote “Exciting na this” with an emoji.
He made an asterisks on the prosecution side that he expects to face (assuming the case reaches a full blown trial), NBI, PNP, PAO, IBP, prosecutor’s office, Silawan family and the public. It surely will grab the headlines as the murder of Christine Lee was so gruesome that it caught the attention of many. Child-X is her former boyfriend, the NBI claimed. The victim’s face was skinned to the bone. Some of her body parts were missing; her tongue, esophagus, trachea (windpipe) were taken out.
Her right ear was ripped. She was half naked from the waist down when found and suffered 30 stab wounds. (NOTE: Atty. Vincent Isles permitted Newsph.org to use his FB posts for this article. In the political spectrum, C.A.G. is campaigning for the OTSO DIRETSO senatorial line-up spearheading its activities in Cebu in holding motorcades, caravan, house to house campaigns, etc.)