Duterte orders manhunt for Cebu teen’s killers

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Duterte orders manhunt for Cebu teen’s killers

DAVAO CITY, Philippines  —  President Duterte has ordered a manhunt for those behind the gruesome murder of Christine Lee Silawan, a 16-year-old high school student, last weekend in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

A bounty of about P1.8 million has been put up for anyone who could provide information that would lead to the arrest of the suspects in the killing of Silawan. 

Last Monday, Silawan’s body was found half-naked in a vacant lot in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Bangkal in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. Half of the teenager’s face was skinned to the skull and her body had multiple stab wounds.

Police earlier said there were at least three suspects in the killing of the student.

During the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Cauayan City the other night, Duterte said the suspects could have taken drugs despite the police claim that they are cult members.  

Police investigators are tracking down in Danao City in Cebu three alleged cult members who could be involved in the killing of Silawan.

The victim was a student of Maribago High School and was first reported missing by her mother after she failed to return home from serving as a collector in church on Sunday evening.

Moreover, the President condemned different assault cases, particularly rape incidents where the victims were minors. 

Duterte then reiterated his warning to people who commit these crimes and those involved in illegal drugs.

“Do not destroy my country, either by drugs or by committing rampant criminality, because I will kill you,” he said.

“And do not feed my children and my neighbors’ children with shabu o kung anong drugs man…ecstasy… because I will kill you. And that is a warning to everybody,” he added. 

Tracker teams from the Lapu-Lapu City and Danao City police are scouring the mountainous terrain of Sogod town where one of the suspects in the Silawan murder – identified as Jonas Bueno – and two other companions were last seen by informants, said Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, Central Visayas police chief.

Sinas immediately sent police teams to Sogod after Bueno and his companions were sighted in the area at about 6 p.m. last March 12.

Senior Supt. Remus Medina, Central Visayas police intelligence chief, said the modus operandi used by Bueno and his companions in the brutal murder of Silawan were the same as the one they used in the killing of a farmer in Danao City last January.

Bueno’s brothers Junry and Jovy, who were suspects in the brutal killing of the farmer, were killed while Danao City policemen were serving arrest warrants for the suspects last Jan. 18, but Jonas escaped and has remained missing.

There were reports in Danao that the cult members eat the flesh of their victims in a ritual.

Meanwhile, former special assistant to the president and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Go on Wednesday condemned the brutal slaying of Silawan.

Go also called on the authorities to do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators swiftly to the bar of justice.

He said the inhuman cruelty the perpetrators did on Christine is a stark reminder of the necessity for the revival of capital punishment for heinous crimes.

In running for the Senate, Go had vowed to support Duterte’s programs and policies, including the campaign against illegal drugs and criminality.

During the 2016 presidential election, Duterte had promised to re-introduce the death penalty.

Capital punishment was reinstated in the country in 1993 through Republic Act 7659. But through RA 9346, the Philippines abolished the death penalty in 2006.

In March 2017, the House of Representatives approved its version of the death penalty bill. However, the counterpart measure remains pending in the Senate. With Non Alquitran