NBI agents threatened, tortured me, suspect says

The 18-year-old suspect in the murder of Christine Lee Silawan (SunStar file)
The 18-year-old suspect in the murder of Christine Lee Silawan (SunStar file)

THE 18-year-old suspect in the murder of Christine Lee Silawan claimed operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) threatened and forced him to admit to the crime.

In his 11-page affidavit submitted to the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office, the suspect, represented by lawyer Vincent Isles, claimed that after he was arrested, the NBI 7 operatives tortured and intimidated him.

NBI 7 Assistant Director Dominador Cimafranca refused to comment on the allegations, citing a gag order issued by the Lapu-Lapu City prosecutor.

Five other persons submitted their testimony in support of the suspect’s counter-affidavit, which detailed his whereabouts when Silawan was murdered on the evening of March 10.

Isles is also asking the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office to summon one of the witnesses of the NBI 7 for a clarificatory hearing after the witness told them that his allegations against the suspect were fabricated by the NBI.

In his affidavit, the suspect said that after NBI 7 agents arrested him during a raid on his house on March 16, they brought him to the agency’s regional office in Cebu City where they allegedly forced him to admit to the crime through various means.

During interrogation, he was allegedly made to watch the CCTV footage gathered by the NBI 7, then forced to admit he was the companion of Silawan in the video.

As NBI 7 operatives were grilling him, another agent allegedly hit his back with a thick book.

The suspect also alleged that the agents forced him to strip down for physical exam and took his pictures without his permission.

When they saw marks on his body, the suspect said they were mosquito marks, but the agents wanted him to admit that they were claw marks from Silawan.

He was also allegedly forced by NBI operatives to sign documents and was threatened that if he refused, his older brother would suffer the same fate as he did.

“One of them also punched me in the stomach to compel me to sign. Finally, they told me that if I sign the paper, they’ll let my mother see me. So I signed the paper, but they did not let me see my mother,” he said.

He also allegedly overheard them discussing plans to file charges against him so they could claim the P2 million reward money for themselves.

The suspect admitted he personally knew Silawan and that he became her boyfriend last year.

He said he decided to break up with Silawan after five days because her hair was always “messy.”

They remained friends on Facebook but communicated only until June last year.

He said since they broke up, he had not spoken to her personally or texted her.

He claimed that at 6 p.m. of March 10, an hour before Silawan was last seen, he was at a basketball court near his house playing with his friends.

He was there from 5 to 7 p.m., and he was already at home from 7 to 9 p.m., around the time Silawan was believed to have been murdered. This was corroborated by three witnesses in their testimony.


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