Southern Mindanao Regional Police Office XI head Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales said investigators are piecing together the claim of Bueno that he was already in Davao City and working at a construction site when the girl was killed.
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Cops checking alibi of Cebu slay suspect
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - March 17, 2019 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Authorities are pursuing a deeper probe into the alibi of Jonas Bueno, the primary suspect in the gruesome killing of a 16-year-old student in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu last week.

Southern Mindanao Regional Police Office XI head Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales said investigators are piecing together the claim of Bueno that he was already in Davao City and working at a construction site when the girl was killed.

Although Bueno is the primary suspect in the murder of Christine Lee Silawan, he was not arrested for this offense but for the killing of Trinidad Batucan, a farmer in Danao City, northern Cebu last January. The two murders were similar as the faces of both victims were skinned.

“We are so particular about the method the two victims were killed. They were so similar,” Morales said.

He added that they are also determining if Bueno is a member of a cult.

Bueno, whose body is covered with tattoos, was collared at the Arroyo Compound in Barangay Matina Pangi, Davao City, where he resides with a live-in partner, by a joint team of the Philippine National Police in Region XI, National Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Regional Intelligence Unit XI and Davao City Police Office.

He has denied killing the girl in Lapu-Lapu City, saying he was already living with the relatives of his live-in partner in Davao when the incident happened.

Investigators also have to look into the veracity of the claims of Bueno’s neighbors and co-workers that the suspect has not left Davao since the time he arrived two weeks ago.

Bueno admitted to faking his identity to work at a construction site and to evade arrest for the murder of Batucan. His brothers, Junry and Jovy, were killed in a shootout with lawmen last Jan. 18. They, too, were implicated in Batucan’s killing.

Silawan’s gruesome killing sparked a public outcry and a renewed call for the re-imposition of the death penalty in the country.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has decried circulating social media posts attributing a false statement to the agency over the gruesome murder of Silawan as it urged the public to be vigilant and to verify reports circulating online.

“There are opportunists who have released false information against the CHR, riding on the public outcry over the gruesome murder of teenager Christine,” the agency said in Filipino. “This does not help in the search for justice. Rather, this is an insult to her memory.”

The circulating posts claimed that the CHR has issued a statement calling for the protection of the suspects tagged in Silawan’s murder. While the agency has been consistent in calling on officials to respect the rights of all Filipinos, including those in detention, it has not issued any statement to that effect in relation to the recent incident.

“The Commission on Human Rights strongly condemns the brutal rape-slay committed against a 16-year-old girl in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Bangkal, Lapu Lapu City,” said CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia. “No one deserves to suffer from such violence, especially that the victim is an innocent child. This act desecrates human dignity and must be punished.”

De Guia said their regional office in Central Visayas has dispatched a quick response team to help in the investigation. – With Janvic Mateo

CHRISTINE LEE SILAWAN JONAS BUENO
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