By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CTY — Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI 7) arrested a 17-year-old boy for the gruesome killing of a 16-year-old girl in Lapu-Lapu City last March 11.
The boy is reportedly the former boyfriend of Christine Silawan, who was the victim of a brutal killing and whose half-naked body was found in a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal.
The crime has sparked outrage nationwide because of the manner the girl was killed.
The girl, a grade nine student, was found half-naked and her face skinned to the bone. The girl’s tongue, esophagus and trachea are also missing.
The NBI 7 refused to divulge the full details as to how they were able to track down the suspect pending the filing of charges against the boy.
“We are confirming that the NBI 7 has taken custody of the suspect in the gruesome killing of Christine Silawan,” NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Services Antonio Pagatpat when he briefly faced reporters at the NBI 7 office Monday.
“Let me grab this opportunity to congratulate our agents and officers here in Cebu,” Pagatpat added.
Pagatpat refused to entertain questions from reporters, saying that the full details of the arrest will be released after the filing of charges against the boy.
The NBI 7 was scheduled to file charges Monday before the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office.
Under the law, offenders aged 17 and below are free from criminality unless the court finds out that the accused acted with discernment in committing the offense.
In an interview with a local radio station here, NBI 7 Director Tomas Enrile revealed that the boy was arrested in his home in Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City.
Enrile said the NBI 7 were able to retrieve closed-circuit television (CCTV) footages, showing that Christine was with the boy on the day she was killed.
Enrile said further investigation will be made to find out if the boy had accomplices in the crime.
The boy’s arrest came a day after a murder suspect was arrested in Davao City.
The NBI and the Police Regional Office in Davao Region tagged Jonas Bueno as the prime suspect in the killing of Silawan, a claim that was contradicted by police in Cebu.
Chief Supt. Debold Sinas has clarified that Bueno is not a suspect in the Lapu-Lapu case but he was considered a person of interest for his involvement in the killing of a farmer in Danao City where the victim’s face was also skinned.
“I don’t think they all have the facts. The facts are here, they are not familiar with the case because the investigation was done here,” said Sinas.
Sinas, along with Senior Supt. Limuel Obon, chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, visited the NBI 7 office after the arrest was made public Monday.