MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday, March 12, urged authorities to “swifly” track down and arrest the killers of a Grade 9 student in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
DepEd condemned the “barbaric murder” of a 16-year-old from Maribago High School, who was found naked from the waist down, her face skinned to the bone, in a vacant lot in Barangay Bangkal on Monday, March 11.
The victim’s mother reported her missing when she did not come home from church on Sunday, March 10.
“The Department calls on the local government unit and the police to swiftly bring to justice the cold-blooded criminals. It likewise enjoins the public in the shared responsibility of protecting children from all forms of abuse, violence, exploitation, and threat,” DepEd said in a statement.
It also condoled with the victim’s family.
The Inquirer reported that according to Lapu-Lapu City Police Office director Senior Superintendent Lemuel Obon, 3 men were seen with the victim based on witness accounts, and that police were looking for these men.
Increase security: DepEd urged schools to heighten security measures to keep students and school members safe following the incident.
DepEd’s Lapu-Lapu City schools division office issued a memorandum to public and private schools with the following orders:
- Practices for school presentations and other school-related activities should be until 5 pm latest
- Learners should bring packed lunch or snacks and avoid buying food outside school’s campus
- Install functioning CCTV cameras in strategic areas
- Requesting additional presence of police or barangay tanod
- Advise students remain in groups when outside, especially if it’s dark
Senator Risa Hontiveros condemned the murder and joined calls for the swift resolution of the case.
“I condemn the brutal rape and murder of 16-year-old Cristine Silawan. My sincerest condolences go out to Cristine’s family, friends, the people of Cebu, and the community and church she served. The horrible treatment of her and the terrible state of her body are an affront to all women,” said Hontiveros, chairperson of the Senate committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality.
“This is a gruesome and inhuman act. I exhort the authorities to swiftly act on this case, find those responsible for this horrific crime and bring them to justice,” she added in a statement. – Rappler.com