RAPS FILED. Videograb shows National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Deputy Director for Regional Services Office Antonio Pagatpat answering queries from Cebu media about the filing of case against the 17-year-old boyfriend of Christine Lee Silawan before the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor's Office, as NBI-7 Regional Director Tomas Enrile listens. (Screengrab from DyMR Radio Pilipinas Cebu Facebook page)
CEBU CITY — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Central Visayas regional office on Monday filed charges against the 17-year-old boyfriend of Christine Lee Silawan -- who is tagged as “person of interest” in her brutal killing -- before the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office.
The NBI, however, turned over the arrested minor to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 (Central Visayas) because of his age.
In a press briefing after the filing of the case, NBI Deputy Director for Regional Services Office Antonio Pagatpat told the media that the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutors Office will organize “a panel that will conduct the preliminary investigation” before filing the appropriate charges against Christine’s boyfriend.
The NBI also accompanied witnesses to the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutors Office for the taking of testimonies.
NBI-7 Regional Director Tomas Enrile said the 17-year-old boy was seen in a closed-circuit television (CCTV) together with Silawan in a subdivision at Barangay Maribago.
Enrile said that Christine could have been killed between 6:00 to 7:00 in the evening of Sunday, which was stressed in the presentation that “based on the post mortem findings that the body was in the state of secondary flaccidity which occurs more than 12 hours after rigor mortis (state of decomposition).
The NBI presented to media several closed-circuit television (CCTV) footages showing the suspect passing by the Barangay Hall of Pajac and Sacred Heart Parish of Jesus Parish Church.
Some of the CCTV footages showed the suspect tagging along Silawan. There were footages that showed the suspect walking with Silawan.
Enrile said they applied for a search warrant to examine electronic devices of the suspect.
“Based on the collated pieces of evidence, on March 16, 2019, a search warrant to seize evidence was applied before the sala of Judge Ramon Daomilas of RTC Branch 11 of Cebu City,” the NBI presentation said.
Upon examining the boy’s upper left arm, the NBI found abrasions “the age of which is compatible with the date of the affliction”.
Screenshots of the chat conversations of Christine and her boyfriend were also secured and will be submitted as evidence, the bureau said.
The suspect was caught in an operation in Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City last Saturday, March 16.
Pagatpat congratulated the agents and officials of NBI-7 for the arrest of the suspect.
“We would like to confirm that our regional office here in Cebu CEVRO has taken into custody the suspect in the gruesome killing of the 16-year old girl, Christine (Lee) Silawan,” he said.
Due to the heinous nature of the crime, the NBI conducted a parallel investigation on the case.
The investigation was conducted by NBI CEVRO operatives with the help of the NBI Cybercrime Division based in Manila.
Dr. Rene Cam, medico-legal officer of NBI-7, also confirmed there was no sign of rape.
Christine’s mother, Lourdes, for her part, said she is convinced that the boyfriend is the one who killed her daughter.
She said she had no idea about the relationship of her daughter with the boy who is now under custody by authorities, saying that Christine did not confide to her about it.
“Sa pagkakaron dili pa kaayo ko motuo nga siya ra’ng usa (As of now, I can’t still believe that he was alone in killing Christine)…Wa ko makaila ana niya (I didn’t know about the boy),” Lourdes said. (PNA)