September 30, 2023


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Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor Ruso Zaragoza

Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor Ruso Zaragoza


By Tonton Alcos Antogop


The 17 year-old suspect in the killing of Christine Lee Silawan will be guarded by the police. That is, if he would really return to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) today.

According to Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor Ruso Zaragoza, he already talked to Lapu-Lapu City Police Director Colonel Limuel Obon about the police security of the suspect. “At the same time ako nang gisabot ang chief of police sa Lapu-Lapu nga atung pabantayan didto ug pulis gyud mismo para mahimutang siya,” Zaragoza said.

Instead of following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to re-arrest the boy, Zaragoza instead made out of his way to convince the family of the suspect to send him back to the DWSD custody, admitting that under the circumstance, an order of re-arrest can not be done through legal procedure.

The fiscal revealed that his conversation with the President was very cordial as he even called him “Tatay Digong.” “Mura ra mi ug ga istorya ba, ga discuss ra mi. Cordial kaayo ang inistoryahan, nag Tatay Digong man gani ko kay ang iyang tingog mura man gud sa akong Papa ba, nag-Tatay ko,” Zaragosa said recalling how the President spoke to him when he called last Monday morning.

The Lapu-Lapu City prosecutors office will resolve the murder case against the boy within 60 days. Zaragoza admitted that obviously Pres. Duterte is monitoring the case but he said they are not under pressure.

“Nagtutok man gud si Presidente aning kasuha probably mao tuy naka encourage niya nga mutawag nako nangutana nganong na release unya ako siyang gi explainan (sic) about nganong na release,” Zaragoza said. According to Zaragoza, the lawyer of the suspect, Atty. Vincent Isles, agreed on the return of the boy to the DWSD custody for his security.

Isles successfully made a legal maneuver by filing an Omnibus Motion to Release the suspect from the DSWD custody citing that the arrest did not fall under hot pursuit.

Zaragoza granted the motion and the case is now for regular preliminary investigation which will be resolve in the 60 days time frame. 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 Investigatiion (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. The day after, Christine Lee’s flayed dead body was found. She bore 30 stab wounds and was half naked from the waist down. Her other body parts were also missing.

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