AS THOUGH sudden death isn’t painful enough, the family of Christine Lee Silawan had to deal with the ghastly image of the girl sprawled in an ironically serene clearing in Barangay Bangkal, Lapu-Lapu City. The image exponentially replicates in social media—and we don’t wish to graphically represent it even in words.
We don’t even know if the family had its grieving stages all jumbled up with the noise and social media melee flaring like mad, most insensitive among them are the memes.
The crime laboratory’s initial findings show repetitive stab wounds, 20 of them, on Christine’s body. It is still in the task of scanning if any chemical corrosive was used to deface the girl or if there are residues of a rape act. Worse, some internal anatomy are either missing or severely mangled. There is nothing in the body that doesn’t show murder in its brutal form.
Christine would have turned 17 on March 26, her mother Lourdes at 48 this March 23. Her youngest sister just turned 13 last Tuesday, March 5. They’d have lumped the birthdays into a single celebration this month, but this heartbreaking news altered the world for them. Nobody can tell the breadth and depth of the grief, but when public attention shifts, they’d have to deal with it alone, as a family, without the certainty of answers to all the questions they are asking now.
Meanwhile, just how do we make sense of all the violence and brutality, the senseless killing of the meek Christine, she who served the church, the “quiet and kind” classmate, the future flight attendant or teacher.
Just what sort of circumstances breed beasts such as those that murdered Christine? Why the heartlessness, the coldness and severity of the whole act? What corners of the world did we miss out that produced such performances of stunning evil?
How can the community respond to this? Will this incident bring to light the urgency of mental health programs? As of last count, the supposed reward for whoever catches the perpetrators have reached P1.8 million. A quick and large sum, although it solves only the postmortem part of the problem. The community may consider funding along the line of the preventive.
May Christine and all the other victims of senseless crimes serve to inspire a more scientific approach to problems of this nature.