THE Lapu-Lapu City Government will be offering a P1-million cash reward to anyone who can help the police identify the persons behind the murder of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza made the announcement during her regular press conference at City Hall on Wednesday noon, March 13.
The Police Regional Advisory Council-Central Visayas earlier offered a P100,000 reward, while an American retiree based in Leyte also offered a P500,000 reward to urge those who may have witnessed Silawan's murder to come forward and tell the police about what they know.
Radaza also urged the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO) to solve the case as soon as possible and arrest those behind Silawan's murder.
Meanwhile, an official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory said that aside from the 30 stab wounds found on Silawan's body, her tongue and some parts of her throat were forcibly removed from her when she was murdered.
Superintendent Benjamin Lara, PNP Crime Laboratory medico legal officer, said based on their autopsy, Silawan's esophagus, trachea or mouth piece, and muscles within her neck were ripped from her.
Even her right ear was also ripped off, Lara added.
Though there is a possibility that an animal may have eaten Silawan's throat and tongue, since her body was found 12 hours after she was killed, Lara said there were no signs that she was bitten.
"At front part nang neck niya and right side and part of the left side, wala na rin yung ini-examine natin. We noted yung trachea, yung daanan nang hangin, yung esophagus and yung entire muscular nang neck wala na, open na yung neck at nakita na yung neck vertebrae. Including the tongue, wala na rin," Lara said.
Lara added that the suspects may have intentionally removed those parts from Silawan's body to delay the identification of the victim and give the killers a chance to hide.
He said the killers may have used a special knife to remove the throat and tongue from Silawan's body, citing it would be difficult to remove them using an ordinary weapon.
He admitted that even during autopsies, it is hard for them to remove the specific parts that were missing from Christine's body, including the skin from her face.