Police are exploring the possibility that one of the suspects in the murder and mutilation of Christine Silawan is a former Communist rebel turned cannibal cult leader.
Lapu-Lapu City police chief, Senior Superintendent Limuel Obon, said today: “He is very elusive. It’s hard to track him down because he has acquired police and military trainings — but he is not a former member of the government security forces.”
Sr. Supt. Obon declined to name the suspect or give any further details while the hunt for the three alleged killers was ongoing.
Christine was attacked on Sunday evening as she walked home from a Church service. Her body was found on Monday with part of her face cut off, revealing half of her skull.
An autopsy later confirmed that she had been stabbed some 30 times, and had internal organs, including her oesophagus, tongue and trachea “meticulously” cut from her throat.
Speculation is rife as to the motive behind the gruesome killing.
Some have linked it to a “cannibal cult” believed to be operating in the mountains of Carmen and Danao.
In January, a 62-year-old farmer called Trinidad Batucan was mutilated in a similar way after being murdered. In this case his entire face and part of his chest were skinned to the bone and his heart removed.
Three brothers, Junrey, Juvy, and Jonas Bueno were identified as suspects. They were said to have founded a cannibal cult after leaving the Communist New People’s Army.
Junrey and Juvy were killed in a police operation shortly after the murder, while Jonas remains at large.
Sr. Supt. Manuel Abrugena, chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, is not discounting the possibility that the two cases are related. “There is a probability but so far we don’t have evidence that would connect the two incidents,” he said.
He confirmed that they had received reports of the cannibal cult continuing to operate. “That’s what we heard but we have yet to confirm this. Allegedly, they dismember the muscles of their victims and they are consuming it.”
Meanwhile, reward money for information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects has risen to two million pesos.
Pledges have come from local government and police officials, as well as an American retiree from Ormoc City who has put up 500,000 pesos.
Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Dino, who has also pledged cash, said: “This killing is only seen in the most perverse and sick of horror movies, and never should have happened in real life, least of all right here in our own backyard.”
Investigations are continuing.
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