On the morning of March 11, the lifeless body of a 16 year old girl was found in an empty lot in Barangay Bangkal, Lapu-Lapu City. The young girl’s corpse was found half naked and her face was skinned, exposing the skull of a terrified murder victim.
The girl was last seen attending mass before her attack and demise. She had told her mother she was going to the Sacred Heart Church in Barangay Pajac to serve as a collector.
Despite only being able to see the young girl’s mutilated face, the tattered clothes helped the victim’s mother identify the body to be Cristine Lee Silawan, a Grade 9 student.
“Even though her face was gone, I could see the rest of her body. I knew she was my daughter. It’s hard for me to accept what happened to her. Not only did they rape her, they also took out her face and her scalp before they killed her. Whoever did this was not normal,” said Lourdes, Cristine’s mother.
Lourdes said that she did not want her daughter to attend mass at first but the young lady persisted, saying it would help her get a good grade.
A lone eyewitness told Senior Supt. Limuel Obon, the city police director, that she had seen Cristine running away from three men on a motorcycle. They grabbed her sling bag until she fell to the ground and then took turns raping her, stabbed her in the neck several times, and then later skinned her face.
The investigator at the scene said that the killers were not in their right mind; an approximation anyone can make based on the grisly manner in which the fiends murdered the innocent young girl. To call these men insane would be an insult to those with mental health issues. They were undoubtedly under the influence of some illegal substance.
This speaks volumes to the importance of the current administration’s war against illegal drugs. Many of the President’s detractors believe it is inhumane to take forceful action against drug associated criminals.
“This act desecrates human dignity and must be punished. To this end, CHR-Region VII will be dispatching a Quick Response Team to help in the investigation and in pursuing all perpetrators of the said crime,” the Commission on Human Rights said of the crime, condemning the act and its perpetrators. But it begs the question, will the streets of Lapu-lapu have been safer if the CHR spent the past two years supporting the actions taken to defeat the drug menace instead of critiquing the PNP’s methods?
A manhunt operation is now underway to arrest the three perpetrators of the crime and bring them to justice; and one can only hope that once they are found, no one will stand in between these soulless monsters and the gruesome fate they brought upon themselves.