While the public is still trying to come to grips with the killing and mutilation of Grade 9 student Christine Silawan, the city government of Lapu-Lapu today announced that they are offering a PHP1 million reward (US$18,968) to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of the grisly crime.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza announced the reward at a press conference this afternoon at city hall, SunStar Cebu reported.
Christine, who worked as an alms collector at a church, was a resident of Sitio Soong I in the village of Mactan in Lapu-Lapu. Her naked cadaver — whose face was skinned to the bone — was discovered three days ago in the village of Bangkal, also in Lapu-Lapu. The authorities are still in the dark as to who perpetrated her killing.
Radaza said at the press conference that, to prevent the occurrence of another crime, there will be more police and tanod (village guards) patrolling around schools and in other areas where students converge.
Aside from Radaza, the Advisory Council of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas is offering a reward of PHP100,000 (US$1,896) while a foreign national based in Leyte is offering PHP500,000 (US$9,483), Cebu Daily News reported.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Benjamin Lara, chief medico-legal at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory, said that their autopsy showed that Christine’s cadaver had 30 stab wounds: one in the neck, nine in her arms and 20 in the rest of her body. Lara also said that her tongue, parts of her throat, and even her right ear were ripped from the body when she was murdered.
Lara believes that there’s a possibility that Christine’s body was eaten by an animal, but there were no bite marks despite the fact that her body was found 12 hours after she was killed. He said that it was possible that parts of the cadaver were ripped off by the suspects to prevent the police from tracking them down quickly.
However, he said there were no signs that she was raped. The victim’s mother, Lourdes Silawan, told Manila Bulletin she is still trying to come to terms with her death. Lourdes told the newspaper in Cebuano: “I have no more tears left to cry. I feel so weak. I don’t know if I can recover from this.”
Update: This version was updated to say that there was a possibility that an animal may have eaten the cadaver, though there were no bite marks found during the autopsy.