RENATO Llenes was in hiding for almost a month after news of the discovery of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan’s mutilated body in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City last March 11 broke out.
But the mother of the girl’s “self-confessed” killer said her son had thought he’d be arrested for a child abuse case that was filed against him in 2015.
He was arrested for hitting the child of his live-in partner, but he was released after eight months.
His mother, who asked not to be named, and his daughter could not believe the 43-year-old Llenes was capable of committing such a brutal crime.
She couldn’t understand why he would confess.
She said her son is a loving and caring father to his four children with his wife.
“Og nag-drugs pa siya, aw kana tingali (If he was on drugs, then maybe). Mao bitaw gusto nako mahibawan kon unsa ni katinuod (That’s why I want to know how true his confession was)... Mao unta akong buot ipangutana, nganong niangkon siya, iyang giangkon tanan (I want to ask him, why did he confess to everything),” his mother said.
Llenes is on the list of drug dealers of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office.
A neighbor, who also requested anonymity, said they noticed Llenes’ sudden disappearance after Silawan was killed.
“But then, he would suddenly show up at night, in disheveled clothes. Then he was gone again. He even boasted that he killed Christine right at the start, but we ignored him,” the neighbor said in Cebuano.
Llenes told visiting Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde that he was high on illegal drugs when he killed Silawan.
Telling the truh
He said he used a fake Facebook account under the name of CJ Diaz to meet the girl. Through several chats and text messages, they agreed to see each other for the first time outside the Sacred Heart Parish in Barangay Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City on the night of March 10.
Llenes admitted that he was already under the influence that time.
He told her CJ had sent him.
While walking on the way to Sitio Mahayahay, he told Silawan he was CJ.
When they arrived in a dark and secluded area, he begged her to have sex with him, but she refused because she was supposed to meet her ex-boyfriend.
He got angry and told her that he was not the real CJ, and she said nasty things to him.
When he discovered that Silawan was still having a relationship with her ex-boyfriend, he got so riled, he ended up killing her.
Llenes said it was just the two of them, adding that he didn’t know the 17-year-old boy the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 had arrested. (The ex-boyfriend recently celebrated his 18th birthday.)
“Poor boy, he had nothing to do with the case. Leave him out of it. I don’t even know him,” Llenes said in Cebuano.
His lawyer, Manuel Degolacion, admitted that he tried to convince his client not to confess, but Llenes insisted that he was the killer.
“In fact, if you read the extra-judicial confession, there was a statement that I wanted him to withdraw, but he insisted on continuing because he was bothered by his conscience about the death of Christine Lee and about the minor who was arrested,” Degolacion said in Cebuano.
Albayalde believed Llenes was telling the truth, considering the latter was assisted by two lawyers when he made the extra-judicial confession.
Police also recovered the scissors used to stab the girl and mutilate her face. They also found Llenes’ clothes and shoes that were full of blood.
A grateful mother
“Accordingly, he committed the crime because of his desire for Christine. So this is what we see. (He was) under the influence of drugs and he admitted being a user for a long time. We were able to recover the scissors and his T-shirt with blood. Submitted to the Crime Lab and submitted for DNA examination,” Albayalde said in Tagalog.
He said they coordinated with the NBI 7 before arresting Llenes.
The fate of Silawan’s ex-boyfriend whom the bureau first arrested was now in the hands of the court, he said.
The police official said they will ask the NBI 7 to return all the evidence they submitted to the latter like the victim’s cellular phone.
Meanwhile, the mother of the 18-year-old ex-boyfriend was grateful for Llenes’ arrest and his confession.
It only proved her son was innocent, she said.
During an interview with Bobby Nalzaro in his dySS Super Radyo program last Thursday morning, April 11, the mother said God had answered her prayers that the truth would come out.
She was confident that Llenes would not recant. She even planned to visit the latter in jail to thank him for confessing to the crime.
She also wanted to visit and get to know Silawan’s mother, especially when she found out that they had gone to high school together.
The victim’s family, though, has been left confused by the latest development.
Although they were grateful to authorities for not stopping to look for her killer, her aunt Fermina Garcia hopes the right killer has been found and they have finally found the justice they sought for her niece’s death. (From GCM, FMD and AYB of SuperBalita Cebu, PJB)