A 100,000-peso reward has been offered to help identify the suspects in the brutal murder of Lapu-Lapu schoolgirl Christine Silawan.
Police have offered the bounty today after Christine’s mutilated body was discovered in a vacant lot yesterday (Monday, March 11).
The 17-year-old was attacked while returning home from a 6pm mass at the Sacred Heart Parish Church in Pajac. The schoolgirl’s face was skinned to the bones, exposing part of her skull.
An autopsy showed that she was stabbed once in the neck, 20 times on the body and nine times on her hands and arms — suggesting that she had tried to fight off her attackers.
As we reported yesterday, she was left naked from the waist down, and police are still working to confirm if she had been raped.
Witnesses reported seeing three men at the scene, who police are now determined to track down.
Speaking at a press conference today, Senior Superintendent Limuel Obon, director of Lapu-Lapu City Police, said: “It can be anyone, a police, military or even the media, who can give information relevant to the identification of the real suspect. Identification lang gyud [just really] and we will do the rest.”
Sr. Supt. Obon added that they had already formed a Special Investigation Task Group to maximise police resources in solving the case.
The National Bureau of Investigation is also working on the case. Regional Director Tomas Enrile said: “We want to solve this case immediately so that justice will be served.”
Superintendent Benjamin Lara, head of the Police Crime Laboratory in Central Visayas, said the multiple stab wounds were the cause of death. He was unable to confirm whether the attackers had sliced the victim’s face off with a knife, or burned it off with acid.
“It’s hard to tell for now what ruined her face,” he said. “There are many possibilities that we need to look into.”
Safety advice for schools
Meanwhile, the Department of Education has urged all schools to strengthen their security measures after the gruesome killing.
The department made the call as it condemned the “barbaric murder” of the Lapu-Lapu schoolgirl.
It urged schools to conclude all activities by 5pm; advise pupils to bring packed lunches instead of buying food outside school premises; and ensure that CCTV cameras were installed in strategic areas.
It also called for increased patrols by police and barangay tanods (watchmen) and advised students to always go in groups when out on the streets, particularly after dark.
Anyone with information about the crime should call police on 0906-5151-860.
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