Christene Lee Silawan was buried as her mother is having her 48th birthday. A long queque of vehicles joined the convoy in her final resting place in Cattleya cemetery in Cordova town Saturday afternoon. Nobody walked as those who do not have vehicles were transported by about 25 units of solar powered E-jeeps plying the routes in Mactan Island for free. The requiem mass was held at the Santo Nino de Cebu Mactan Parish where Christene Lee was a parishioner.
Fr. Johndy Enoria who did the homily said that although justice should be serve to Christine, it is better to leave to God everything that has happened as he called on the bereaved family to have their peace of mind. “Hinaot pa unta kamo lamdagan ni Christine ato lang ipa sa Diyos kung unsa may dili mahimo. Ayaw pagbaton ug kayugot ug pagdumot ilabi na sa tawo nga naghimo niini kay kung imo nang buhaton hasta ka nga gibiyaan ni Christine isip amahan, isip inahan, isip mga igsoon dili sab ka magmalinawon sa imohang pagpuyo,” Fr. Enoria said.
Her relatives and friends wore t-shirts printed with Justice for Chrisrtine Lee Silawan. The funeral car that carried her coffin was draped with a tarpaulin with the words, ” JUSTICE FOR CHRISTINE; she was skinned to death. We, the victims of heinous crimes demand the return of the death penalty.” Before she was entombed, several white balloons were released on the air to signify the release of grief. Her mother Lourdes who was having her birthday wailed, she collapsed twice while crying infront of her daughter’s coffin.
Among those in attendance in the burial were Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and Chairman Dante Jimenez of the Crusade Against Violence (CAV) who both expressed surprise on the Omnibus Order of the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office to release the 17 year-old suspect of the crime. “Alam mo I am not happy with the way the investigation is being conducted so far sa amin kasi iniisip ko dapat may joint investigation at hindi kanya-kanya dapat. Maraming loopholes, that is why I will look into that,” Jimenez told News.ph.org.
Later he said he was not surprised that the boy was release based on the Miranda doctrine of the right to counsel of a suspect, among others. Atty. Vincent Isles, the counsel of the suspect confirmed to Newsph.org the release of his client from the custody of the Dept.of Social Welfare and Development (DSWSD). It was Isles who filed the motion for the release citing the lack of arrest warrant and it was not a hot-pursuit operation.
Commissioner Greco Belgica of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) who arrived in the cemetery briefly talked with Lourdes. Belgica said Pres. Rodrigo Duterte through former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go ordered him to closely monitor the case. Belgica said he will meet with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) officials to give him a case update.
“We want to get the bottom of the truth kung sino talaga ang gumawa nito yan po ang bilin ng ating Pangulo ni Presidente Duterte. Ibinilin sa akin kanina ni Secretary ni SAP Bong Go na huwag hayaan ang kaso, yung nangyari sa bata,” Belgica told reporters. Before he arrived Belgica joined Go as the latter was the guest speaker of the graduation of Indiana Aerospace University in Lapu-Lapu City. The 17 year-old suspect was tagged by the NBI as he was the last person seen with the victim based on the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footages that they recovered.
They alleged that the two were ex-lovers and the crime could have been trigerred by extreme jealousy as Christine was seen by the suspect talking to another guy. Christine’s face was skinned to the bone. Some of her body parts were missing; her tongue, esophagus, trachea (windpipe) were taken out. Her left ear was ripped. She was half naked from the waist down when found and suffered 30 stab wounds.