Cebu News

NBI: No lapses in boy’s arrest

Micole Gerard J. Tizon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation has assailed the claim of lawyer Vicente Isles that the bureau did not have any personal knowledge of the crime and of the alleged involvement of the 17-year-old boy it arrested in relation to the killing of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan.

It is because of this that the warrantless arrest on the boy was allegedly invalid.

“Hot pursuit nga yon kaya hindi pwede maging illegal… pag sinabing hot pursuit, pasok yon sa warrantless arrest (It was a hot pursuit so it wasn’t illegal… a warrantless arrest is allowed,” said NBI-7 Director Tomas Enrile.

He also denied Isles’ claim in a Facebook Live video that there were closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at the crime scene. In the video, Isles was seen pointing at the cameras.

He also denied that the NBI is competing with the Philippine National Police in arresting a suspect – what with the P2 million reward money for the suspect’s arrest.

The police said earlier that the reward money does not go to authorities but to witnesses.

"Nagtutulungan po kami. Kung anong ebidensya ang makalap nila … at, actually, si Director Sinas, he ordered his subordinates na kung anumang makuha n'yong ebidensya d'yan, i-turnover n'yo dito sa NBI (We’re helping each other. Director Sinas himself ordered his men to turn over to NBI whatever evidence they gather),” Enrile said, referring to Police Regional Office - 7 Director Debold Sinas.

Meanwhile, Enrile questioned the intent of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) in launching a parallel investigation.

“Ano ba ang mandate ng PAO? Kami ang nasa law enforcement. We have the findings. Ano pa ang problema doon? (What is PAO’s mandate? We’re the ones in law enforcement. We have the findings. What’s the problem there?)” he said.

PAO chief Persida Acosta said earlier it will also probe Silawan’s case following the “variance” in the investigation findings of the NBI and PNP.

But Enrile said:

“Wala naming, so far, binigay (ang PNP) na magkasalungat ang findings naming (The PNP, so far, has not given us anything that is contrary to what we have found).”

Enrile said Acosta’s statement might have stemmed from an earlier comment of Dr. Benjamin Lara of the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory on the rape component of the investigation.

"Let's make it clear. Ang findings ng medico legal doctor is no perineurial laceration. Yun ang sinabi ng doctor sa autopsy, si Dr. Lara. Hindi naman namin sinasabi na ganun (that there was no rape incident involved). We are just quoting the findings of Dr. Lara. Hindi kami nagsasabi na walang rape nangyayari (Let’s make it clear. The medico legal doctor found no perineurial laceration. We’re just quoting the findings of Dr. Lara. We’re not saying that there was no rape)," Enrile said.

Silawan was found lifeless at a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City early morning of March 11 with no undergarments. She had at least 20 stab wounds with half of her face skinned.

The 17-year-old boy who was arrested is reportedly her ex-boyfriend.

According to the NBI, CCTV footage would show that the boy was the last person with Silawan the night she went missing on March 10.

The boy is facing a murder complaint in relation to the cybercrime law because he reportedly communicated with Silawan online leading to her death. —Hannah Joy I. Yana and Hanna D. Tejada /JMO (FREEMAN)

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