Lapulapu City Fiscal Ruso Zaragoza will not effect the re-arrest of the prime suspect of the Christine Lee Silawan murder despite the order of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte. Instead, he asked the parents of the suspect to put him back to the DSWD facillity.
Zaragosa admitted that President Duterte called him last Monday morning where the President conveyed to him the order to re-arrest. But since re-arrest can not be done under the circumstance, he made the initiative to convince the parents of the boy to put him back to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) facility for the boy’s safety.
“Walay resolution, verbal ra na, ako ra nang hangyo sa ginikanan kay ang gusto gyud unta sa Presidente re-arrested pero ingon ko dili na man tingali kinahanglan nga re-arrest kay para man pud na sa safety sa bata,” Zaragoza told reporters in an interview in his office.
As of this posting, the boy did not return yet to the facility, Homecare Center for Children in Barangay Gun-ob, which is run by the Lapu-Lapu City local government. According to Zaragoza, the boy’s parents agreed to his verbal request along with the boy’s counsel, Atty. Vincent Isles. “
Wa na koy kuan ana, ang ginikanan okay na man so wala pa ko kabalo unsay kuan sa iyang lawyer, but aduna miy communication ni Atty Isles okay man pud siya for the safety sa bata, sa iyang client,”. Isles earlier gave a statement that a re-arrest for his client can not be done despite the President’s order.
The President said last Tuesday night in Koronadal City that the boy should have not been released as the arrest fall under “hot pursuit.” But according to Zaragoza, hot pursuit can not be applied that is why he ordered for the release.
He said it has no bearing on the case however as boy will undergo a regular preliminary investigation and they will resolve the murder case against him within 60 days.
“Wa mu-fall sa principle of hot pursuit operation mao tung atung gi-convert. Gi-terminate nato ang inquest proceeding then gi convert nato into regular preliminary investigation naa man na sa procedure, mao na nga you have to release the detention prisoner” Zaragoza explained.
Zaragosa formed a three-man panel led by Assistant City Prosecutor Jude Henritz Ycong to resolve the case with Prosecutors Jan Birondo and Angelo Barios as members. Christine Lee, 16, and the boy were schoolmates in Maribago National High School. The victim was in Grade 9 while the suspect is Grade 7.
Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) theorized that extreme jealousy could have triggered the murder as the two broke up as lovers and Christine was seen talking to another when the boy fetched her in the Sacred Heart Church in Barangay Pajac in the evening of March 10 where the victim served as alms collector.
The morning after, Christine Lee’s flayed dead body was found. She suffered 30 stab wounds and was half naked from the waist down. Some of her body parts were missing.