THE blood found on the shirt and ball cap of the prime suspect in the murder of Christine Lee Silawan reportedly matched with that of the victim, according to a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 official.
NBI 7 Director Tomas Enrile said the result of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test favors his investigators’ findings that John (real name withheld) took part in the killing of Silawan on the evening of March 10. The girl’s body was found on a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City last March 11.
He said the murder complaint against the suspect is strengthened by the new findings. The DNA test was conducted by the NBI central office.
Enrile refused to divulge the other details, saying only a medico-legal officer can explain the result to the public.
“This is a strong evidence. This will speak for itself that there was a participation from the suspect,” he said.
The suspect’s lawyer, Vincent Isles, belittled and doubted the result.
He said his client’s personal items were secured using the warrant to search, seize and examine computer data (WSSECD), which specified that only computer or digital-related evidence can be confiscated by the NBI.
Isles also questioned how the bloodstains were found in his client’s personal possessions. He said if his client was the perpetrator, he would have gotten rid of the things that would implicate him in the crime.
“In any case, those are not admissible evidence. Those were taken in violation of my client’s right to be secured from unreasonable searches and seizures,” he said.
John was arrested by the NBI agents last March 16, during the implementation of the search warrant issued by Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 11 Judge Ramon Daomilas Jr.
Isles had filed a motion asking Daomilas to quash the WSSECD and order the NBI to return the personal items seized from his client—a shirt, underwear, a ball cap and five pieces of paper with unidentified markings.
The defense has three witnesses, who attested that John was playing basketball with his friends on the evening of March 10.
When John was still in the NBI 7’s custody, someone allegedly cut a wound from his behind and took a little amount of his blood.
Isles believes the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office would treat the evidence from the NBI 7 and the defense with fairness.
He is open to the idea of letting John become a state witness, but he said this could not happen as his client did not admit committing the crime.
On Thursday, April 4, John turned 18. His mother and Isles visited him in a home care center in Lapu-Lapu City.
Ice cream, spaghetti and sandwiches were brought inside the facility, but Isles said these were donated by the Cebu Action Group (CAG) for all the Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) staying in the facility, not just for his client.
Isles said his fellow CAG members decided to conduct the feeding program for the CICLs on John’s birthday, after learning that the other members could not attend on April 28, the original schedule and the 13th anniversary of the passage of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.
Meanwhile, Enrile refused to comment on the findings of the second autopsy on Silawan’s body that was conducted by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), saying he would let police medico-legal officer Benjamin Lara issue the statement.
Lara’s findings contradicted with those of PAO’s forensic pathologist, who said Silawan was strangled, tied, raped and her face scalded with acid.
In his autopsy result, Lara said Silawan was not raped. He only found a healed laceration in the victim’s genitals.
“We stand by with the findings of Dr. Lara,” Enrile said.
The mother of the witness who tagged John in the crime visited the NBI 7 office in Cebu City to assure the investigators that her son would not backtrack on his testimony. (From AYB, GCM of Superbalita Cebu, JKV, KAL)