THE head of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 was surprised by the decision of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) to conduct a separate inquiry on the murder of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan.
NBI 7 Director Tomas Enrile said they are doing right in their investigation by gathering evidence and testimonies from witnesses.
Chief Public Attorney Persida Acosta, however, criticized the NBI 7 for filing the murder complaint against the 17-year-old suspect, John (not his real name), even if the evidence against him was not yet airtight.
The PAO official plans a re-autopsy on the victim’s body to determine whether she was raped by John and his cohorts.
For his part, Enrile said they adopted the autopsy result from the Regional Crime Laboratory of the Philippine National Police and they included it in the evidence against John, who had been charged with murder before the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office.
He urged Acosta and other PAO officials to meet with the police medico-legal officer to satisfy their doubts.
“Ano ba ang mandate nila (What is their mandate)?” he asked, referring to PAO.
Enrile further said the NBI 7 and Police Regional Office 7 have the duty to investigate the murder of Silawan, whose body was found on a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City last March 11.
NBI 7 investigators theorized that the girl was killed on the evening of March 10. Her face had been flayed, and some of her organs had been removed by the perpetrators.
If it will push through with its investigation, the PAO might create confusion, according to Enrile.
In another development, the NBI 7 chief refused to comment on the plan of John’s counsel, Vincent Isles, to file a motion seeking the release of the suspect, citing lack of evidence.
Enrile said it is the task of the prosecutor to evaluate the evidence from the NBI 7 and the counter arguments presented by Isles.
John is in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development 7, which determined that the suspect passed the discernment procedure.
Enrile cannot give the closed circuit television camera (CCTV) videos to Isles, saying these were already submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
On Saturday, March 23, three days before what would have been her 17th birthday, Silawan will be buried in Cattleya Memorial Park in Cordova.
A requiem will be held at the Sto. Niño Parish in Barangay Mactan past 12 p.m. Hundreds of Silawan’s friends, classmates, schoolmates, teachers, fellow church servant and relatives are expected to attend the funeral.
The girl’s mother, Lourdes, fulfilled her promise to bury her after the arrest of the suspect, but authorities are still investigating the incident as John’s cohorts are still free. (from AYB, FVQ of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)