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Duterte’s P20K aid to slain teen’s mom dwarfed by P1.8M reward for arrest of killers

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President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday sent flowers and financial assistance to the family of Christine Lee Silawan, the 16-year-old church collector who was brutally killed in Lapu-Lapu City.

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino handed over the flower and the P20,000 aid to Lourdes Silawan, the mother of Christine, during the official’s visit Thursday to the wake at their house in Sitio Soong I in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City.

Dino also offered a P200,000 reward in addition to the P1.6-million reward money to anyone who can give information to the authorities that could lead to the arrest of Christine’s killers.

Dino said P100,000 came from his pocket while the other P100,000 came from Philippine Postal Corp. chairman Norman Fulgencio who was also struck by the ghastly murder of the girl.

On Wednesday, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza offered a P1-million reward to anyone who can help the police in the early resolution of the case. The amount was on top of the P100,000 offered by the Police Regional Office-7 Advisory Council and P500,000 pledged by a foreigner in Leyte.

“I condemn in the strongest sense the gruesome murder of Christine Lee Silawan,” Dino said. “No person in their right mind would commit such an act; and no person, least of all an innocent young girl, should be made to suffer so brutally.”

According to him, 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.”

“In behalf of President Rody Duterte, I am here to personally convey our deepest sympathy to the family, to Nanay Lourdes, to the church who have lost a beautiful soul who served with them as collector, and to the community here who are in deep grief because of this loss,” he added.

Dino urged the police “to use all available resources and apply all their expertise to find the perpetrators to make them answerable to this barbaric act”.

Lapu-Lapu City Police Office Director, Colonel Limuel Obon, who accompanied Dino in Silawans’ house, vowed “to leave no stone unturned” in investigating the case.

Obon said a tracking team was sent to arrest one of the three suspects within the week. “If we arrest one primary suspect, we will be able to arrest all (of them),” he stressed.

The chief of Lapu-Lapu police said the suspect is no longer in Lapu-Lapu City but is still in the province.

He, however, assured that even if the suspect manages to go outside Cebu province, a team from the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) is ready to track him down. “If ever he goes region-wide or nation-wide, kaya nato na (we are capable) of tracking him down,” he said.

Obon said the Lapu-Lapu police is determined to finish the investigation as soon as possible, despite the absence of an ultimatum from the Philippine National Police headquarters.

Last Monday morning, Christine was found dead in a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City with her face skinned to the skull, her body incurring 20 stab wounds and 10 defense wounds, and her tongue, trachea, and esophagus removed. (PNA)

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