THE brutal killings of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan and 14-year-old Tesa Marie Ygay came at a time when the Archdiocese of Cebu was busy preparing for this year’s National Youth Day (NYD), which will be held in Cebu after the Holy Week.
In a press conference last Friday, April 12, Archbishop Jose Palma told reporters he was saddened by the girls’ deaths, which had made an impact across Cebu and other parts of the country.
Palma said crimes against the youth could be prevented if they minimized their use of social media or if they learned to become responsible social media users.
He called on the youth to use social media to encourage and inspire their peers instead of sowing confusion and ignorance.
“I believe other youths can contact others for hopes, inspirations and statements of support. We will not lose hope that evil in this world will be flooded away by goodness,” the archbishop said.
Silawan’s mutilated, half-naked body was found on a vacant lot in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Bankal in Lapu-Lapu City last March 11.
The manner in which she was killed shocked the entire country.
As for Ygay, she was stabbed several times before her body was dumped in the septic tank of a public school in Barangay Cogon Cruz in Danao City.
Meanwhile, organizers announced that 17,000 youths from across the country will be participating in this year’s NYD.
At least 5,000 will come from Cebu, said Fathers Mark Barneso and Andrei Ventanilla of the Archdiocesan Commission on the Youth. They have already volunteered to help organize activities for the event, Barneso and Ventanilla said.
Palma also announced that Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, will be in Cebu to participate in the dialogue with the youth.
Aside from Caccia, 30 bishops from all over the country will also attend the event. FROM FMD OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / JKV