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Sunday, March 24, 2019
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Nalzaro: A flawed and muddled investigation

Saksi

THE investigation of the gruesome death of Christine Lee Silawan has been muddled by no less than the police themselves. Information from the police has been hazy, contradictory and flawed. This may be the result of a competition among various police units trying to grab the credit as this brutal case has already reached the attention of Malacañang and no less than President Duterte has ordered the immediate solution of the case and the arrest of the suspect or suspects. Or is it because of the reward money that is now at P2 million?

Nobody will admit releasing the photo of a certain Jonas Bueno, tagged as the alleged mastermind in the killing of Silawan, to the national media. And why did the national media get it first before the local media, which has been following the case since day one? Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 officers denied providing the photo of Bueno to the national media and so did the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO), which is the lead investigating agency.

Bueno is an alleged cult leader from the mountains of Danao City. He and his two brothers were suspects in the killing of a farmer in Danao City almost a year ago where they also skinned to the bone the face of the victim. They reportedly ate some parts of the victim’s body as part of a cult ritual. Bueno’s two brothers were killed by police operatives during an encounter right after the incident. Only Bueno survived. He has been hiding with a pending warrant of arrest.

Now, who said it was Bueno who killed Silawan, a 16-year-old alms collector whose body was found in a vacant lot in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City last Monday morning. Her body had 30 stab wounds. Her tongue and ear were removed. Her face was intentionally skinned. However, it was not immediately known in the autopsy report if the victim was raped.

The killers were presumably high on drugs as no person in his right mind would do such a heinous crime. Were there witnesses who pinpointed Bueno? Is the Lapu-Lapu police pursuing the same theory as the person who provided that information?

LCPO Director Limuel Obon earlier said they already identified the mastermind, who is also a wanted person and “armed and dangerous.” A CCTV footage obtained by investigators showed Silawan riding a motorcycle “sandwiched” by three persons the night she was reported missing. The police theorized that the victim and the suspects must have known each other because she was not forced to ride the motorcycle.

I hope the police can put their acts together in solving this case and bringing the perpetrators before the bar of justice. Everybody wants this case solved immediately. But how can our police solve this if their investigation is going in different directions?

***

The long wait is over. President Duterte revealed the names of politicians who allegedly have links to the illegal drug trade. There were 43 on the list provided and validated by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. The Department of the Interior and Local Government also filed administrative charges against the politicians, most of whom are seeking reelection or running for another position in the midterm elections in May.

Good. Not only were they exposed, they were also charged. This is better than before. Some of those on the previous list were killed in legitimate police operations or met a mysterious death. Some went into hiding. With this revelation, it’s up to voters if they still want to vote for those politicians on the list. If you are against illegal drugs, then reject these narco-politicians. And those who are complaining or feel that their rights have been violated because their names were mentioned, confront the President. Daghan mo’g kyaw-kyaw diha.


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