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Thursday, April 25, 2019
CEBU

Bzzzzz: Who's representing suspect in Christine murder? Boy reportedly confessed without his lawyer present. IBP lawyers offer to prosecute.

PEOPLE are talking about...

* SARA'S SORTIES IN CEBU this week will have her raising the hands of candidates whom the Davao City mayor's Hugpong ng Pagbabago supports in the May elections. Those who are getting the presidential daughter's endorsement make a big thing out of the event while their rivals minimize Inday Sara's influence on the local fight.

* WORD 'KAWATAN' CHEAPENED. The way the words "kawatan" or thief and "kurap" or corrupt are being used by propagandists on radio these days would make one think that, maybe, they are not defamatory per se anymore. The words are used to describe specific candidates, named and identified repeatedly, some speakers even daring the politicians concerned to sue.

Jealousy, confession

NBI-Central Visayas Director Tomas Enrile was reported on Dobol B of News TV as having disclosed that jealousy was the motive in the widely publicized Lapu-Lapu City murder of Christine Silawan, 16, and, in a separate report on Balitanghali, that the boy suspect had already confessed to the crime.

The problem apparently was that the boy, 17, had no lawyer representing the child when he confessed, which could weaken or even nullify his NBI confession. Under the law, there are persons required to be present "on first contact" with the alleged child offender and among them is his lawyer.

The victim's interest, in contrast, is protected, in effect, by the law enforcers and prosecutors who sue for the "People of the Philippines." In addition, lawyers of the Cebu City chapter of IBP or Integrated Bar of the Philipines have offered their free services as private prosecutors. Nobody is yet announced to be representing the teenage accused.

Cyber element of crime

The Anti-Cybercrime Law is included in the charge package because the boy allegedly used his social media account to lure Christine to meet with him.

He allegedly hid his identity and posed as another suitor, offering to give her gifts if they'd meet up.

"Solid evidence"

An NBI official says it has "solid evidence" against the boy whom they arrested and charged for the killing of Christine. What has the public known so far?

* A couple walking together in a CCTV footage is identified to be Christine and "Cliff Malik," the boy's name in his social media account. Only their backs are seen, the mother pointed out. The NBI cited the pair of slippers one of them wore.

* A speck of blood on the cap of "Cliff" was found. It still has to be DNA-tested to determine whose blood it was.

On the other side, "Cliff's" mother said her son last March 11, the day Christine's body was found on a vacant lot in Bankal, he went to school, played basketball and fixed the roof. He would've been in a state of shock ("nakatulala") the day after the killing if he had been the killer. Not every killer, any law enforcer can tell her.

NBI and police are silent on the mother's comment that the P2 million reward must have prompted the rush to find a suspect, with her son as the fall guy.

It wasn't an alibi

The suspect's mother may trust law enforcers to be decent enough to let her son off the hook if further evidence will clear him. Mindanao police at first considered Jonas Bueno the primary suspect and then cleared him on Christine's murder when it was proved that Bueno and his family had already left Cebu when she was killed.

Not all the forensic results are in and other evidence may turn up. As to the alibi of "Cliff's" mom, it has to be air-tight. The activities of her son on March 11 indicated his state of mind several hours after the killing; they didn't prove that he couldn't have killed Christine because he was somewhere else at the time of the murder. His mother's defense was not even an alibi.

"Clothing of interest"

"Person of interest" is a term or phrase that is used in law enforcement, first in the US and then here in the country. Google "person of interest" and definition and other information pop up. Nothing does if you Google "clothing of interest" even if you tag it with NBI, FBI, police, law enforcement, or criminology.

"Clothing of interest" only came up when an NBI officer said the other day they found one from the teenager whom they arrested and charged for the killing of Christine Silawan. Maybe the NBI agent thinks if there's "person of interest," why not "clothing of interest," or car, house, gun or whatever else "of interest"?

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