THE arrest of Renato Llenes, the self-confessed killer of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan, has raised more questions than answers. Is he the real killer? Why did he easily confess to the crime? Was he tortured and coerced by the police, forcing him to admit the crime? Is he after the reward money? Is he of sound mind and will he maintain his admission up to the arraignment? These are the nagging questions that need answers.
The Lapu-Lapu City police, who arrested Llenes, claimed that they had put him under surveillance for a couple of weeks when they received information about his involvement in the gruesome murder of Silawan. They checked his Facebook account upon learning that he was in constant communication with the victim. Llenes used three fictitious accounts, including that of “CJ Diaz.” They also checked the CCTV footage when they got information that he was the person who was last seen with Christine on the night before the latter was found dead in a secluded vacant lot in Sitio Mahayahay, Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City.
Last Tuesday, April 9, when the police were about to invite him for questioning, he was in possession of an unlicensed firearm, prompting authorities to arrest him and immediately charge him with illegal possession of firearm and with violating the Comelec gun ban. Llenes’ arrest was somewhat questionable. Did the police arrest him for another offense so they would have legal ground to hold him because they could not arrest him yet in connection with the Silawan case? The police should have had a warrant of arrest as it would no longer fall under hot pursuit as the crime happened a month ago.
And why won’t some quarters believe Llenes killed Christine despite his admission? Because they suspect that these are all “scripted,” or drama, with the police as the director. I don’t think these are all mere “palabas” (show). What for? What is their intention? Just to appease the public that they have solved this sensationalized crime because they have been pressured? As to the reward money of P2 million, the police cannot get a share of that, much more the culprit.
At this point in time, we will just take Llenes’ admission at face value. We can only conclude that he was the real culprit and he is telling the truth if he will sustain his claim up to the arraignment. If he will plead guilty, well, that’s it. He should suffer the consequences of his criminal act. He should be punished.
But the big question mark is, what if, upon arraignment, he will recant his admission and declare his innocence, claiming he was forced, coerced and tortured by the police? Well, that is another story. If that will happen, it will give the police more headaches. There were instances that a suspect or suspects admitted committing a crime and even executed an extra-judicial confession. But when the case reached the court, they recanted.
So, at this early stage, the police should not be complacent and merely rely on the admission of Llenes. Despite Llenes’ admission, the police should gather more evidence to support and augment their theory that, indeed, Llenes was the real killer to convince the court to convict him. Is the evidence on hand enough to support their claim?
And what will happen to Christine’s 18-year-old ex-boyfriend, who was earlier arrested and charged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 in connection with the Silawan case?
Well, in view of this development, it is up to the city prosecutor of Lapu-Lapu whom he will recommend for the filing. The NBI 7 still claims it has a strong case against the first suspect. If the prosecutor sees that the NBI has weak evidence against the former boyfriend, the prosecutor may drop the case and recommend the filing of charges against the second suspect. Di man ni puwedeng ipasaka niya ang duha kay wala may koneksiyon sa usag-usa ang mga suspetsado. Maglibog gyud ang piskal ani.