Suspect in Christine Silawan case allegedly used Facebook to contact her; case declared solved but not closed

Authorities yesterday declared the brutal killing of Christine Silawan solved as they used pieces of evidence such as Facebook chats and CCTV footage to link the arrested suspect to her death.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Senior Supt. Bernard Banac said in a media briefing yesterday that the case is solved because of the arrest of the primary suspect, an unidentified 17-year-old who was allegedly Silawan’s ex-boyfriend.

However, he also said that the case cannot be closed because two other suspects remain at large, the Philippine Star reported.

The ex-boyfriend was arrested over the weekend and has allegedly confessed to the crime, which he said he committed due to jealousy.

In an interview that appeared on the television news show 24 Oras last night, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Region 7 director Tomas Enrile said that the suspect allegedly pretended to be a new suitor and used a fake Facebook account to contact Silawan. He allegedly sent her a Facebook message asking to meet up near the church where Silawan worked as an alms collector.

In a CCTV footage acquired by the NBI, Silawan appears to be arguing with the suspect. Enrile believes that Silawan was expecting to meet her new suitor but was surprised when it was her ex-boyfriend who showed up.

However, the same footage also shows Silawan willingly going with the suspect. The NBI is still trying to figure out why she did this.

Despite the suspect’s confession, his mother told SunStar Super Balita Cebu that he was innocent of the crime. His mother, whose name was withheld, said that her son was at their home in the village of Maribago in Lapu-Lapu City when the crime occurred.

She said that her son allegedly helped their family fix their roof on that day, played basketball after, watched TV, had dinner, then slept.

She also insinuated that her son was arrested because some people were keen to get the cash reward being offered by the authorities.

The city government of Lapu-Lapu, where Silawan was a resident, offered PHP1 million  (US$18,968) to anyone who could provide information that would lead to the arrest of her killers.

Aside from the government, the Advisory Council of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas also offered a reward of PHP100,000 (US$1,896) while a foreign national based in Leyte is offered PHP500,000 (US$9,483).

Silawan was a Grade 9 student whose half-naked cadaver was found in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu on March 11. Her face was skinned to the bone, and some of her internal organs were also missing. According to an autopsy, there were no signs that she was raped.

Her gruesome murder has led some people to call for the revival of the death penalty.

This article, Suspect in Christine Silawan case allegedly used Facebook to contact her; case declared solved but not closed, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!