MURDER and attempted rape charges were filed against Renato Llenes on Tuesday afternoon, April 16, following his admission that he was behind the gruesome murder of Christine Lee Silawan.
Personnel from the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO) led by Police Colonel Limuel Obon brought Llenes before the City Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday afternoon, April 16, to file the charges against him.
Police proceeded the filing of charges despite the refusal of Silawan's parents to sign the complaint they prepared against Llenes.
Obon explained to reporters that they decided to no longer wait for consent from Silawan's parents and will let the local prosecutor decide if there is probable cause to bring Llenes to court.
Obon said they had to file the charges against Llenes at the soonest as they also need to focus on other priorities including implementing their security preparations for the Holy Week.
But Obon is confident that the evidence they prepared against Llenes is strong, especially that the suspect was positively identified in close circuit television (CCTV) footages they gathered which was recorded just a few hours before Silawan was murdered.
One CCTV footage the police submitted as evidence was secured from a residential area in Barangay Bangkal, which is located just a few meters from Llenes' residence and was recorded at 5 p.m. of March 10, or just a few hours before Silawan was murdered.
Police were also able to gather witnesses that positively identified Llenes after seeing him in CCTV footages taken just before the crime was committed.
They also submitted confirmation to the local prosecutors office that Llenes is able to log in and out of three Facebook accounts which he used to communicate with Silawan.
Obon said Llenes, in front of witnesses such as Silawan's aunt Fermina, the victim's older sister and his legal counsel, lawyer Manuel Degollacion, that he is able to log in and out of the three accounts.
Obon and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza also served as witnesses when Llenes accessed the three accounts.
Llenes used the FB accounts CJ Diaz, Rhainheart Llenes and Marialyn Dela Cruz to communicate with Silawan.
Police were also able to gather witnesses, who identified themselves as Llenes' chatmates, who were willing to attest that the three accounts were owned by the suspect.
Obon said that for now, they are awaiting for the DNA test on Llenes' personal belongings including clothing, murder weapon and other items that had blood on them to determine if they are from Silawan.
During the preliminary investigation, Llenes reiterated his admission to Lapu-Lapu City assistant prosecutor Sheilamar Abadia and denied he was coerced to admitting the crime.
“Dili na nako bawion mao na ni siya gusto nako mahuman na ning kasoha para mogaan-gaan akong konsensya niya mapahuway na si Christine. Mangayo unta ko niyag pasaylo ug sa iyang pamilya, sa akong pamilya ug sa akong mga anak. Manghinaot ko nga dili sila maparehas nako” Llenes added.
Separately, Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor Ruso Zaragoza has given Llenes at least 10 days to file his counter-affidavit even though he has already submitted an extra-judicial confession.
Zaragosa said they are also hoping to immediately issue a resolution to the first complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation against the 18-year-old suspect initially accused of murdering Silawan.